The restaurant owner was nearby. He had a walking stick. He smashed the kitten across his back. The kitten fell from the table with a broken back and could not move. The kitten thrashed and floundered on the floor. The customers were shouting to stop. A waiter kicked the kitten out of the restaurant. The kitten flew under the wheels of a car and was killed. Such is life and death in a well known, tranquil and charming restaurant in Nicosia, Cyprus. Some customers left immediately.
This sickening and astonishing example of cat cruelty in full view of paying restaurant clientele was reported to the local police. However, it appears that animal cruelty is often brushed under the carpet or kicked into the long grass in sunny charming South Cyprus.
Cats and kittens are a regular feature at restaurants in Cyprus. On the night in question there were lots of them around the restaurant tables. I have seen something similar in Rome, Italy. They can be charming. The customers accept them.
The Argos Animal Sanctuary in Limassol, South Cyprus and local animal activists will do their best to ensure that this animal cruelty, a crime, is not forgotten by the police. A demonstration is planned for 3rd August 2013 outside the restaurant to try and boycott the place.
My gut feeling is that the Greeks have less respect for the cat than the Turkish. As mentioned, South Cyprus is governed by Greece and North Cyprus is governed by Turkey or a Cypriot version of the Turkish government.
Turkey have their own famous cats: the Turkish Angora and Van. Mainland Greece is a tourist attraction and there are plenty of community cats in Greece. They are a feature during the tourist season and poisoned out of season.
Apparently about two years ago a Greek-style mass cat poisoning took place outside the restaurant in question. It appears the event in question was not one-off
There is a pressing need for a properly managed TNR program in South Cyprus. It appears the government just don’t have the will. They prefer to kill or ignore option. Although unlikely, perhaps this event will change things.
- Harvey Harrison (PoC regular)
Associated: Spotted Street Cats of Cyprus