Stray kitten’s six-day trip from Greece

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A Greek kitten has been found a new home after a 1,000 mile-plus journey to Northamptonshire by road.

Ari, a stray who was living out of hotel bins, was rescued by a charity on Crete, and when a Kettering veterinary nurse helped out at the charity earlier this year she said she fell in love with the cat.

Sally Betterton, who is the head nurse at Easipetcare in Mariners Way, Kettering, volunteered at the Cretan Cat-a-list charity – which is run by Irish woman Jayne Butler – during a trip to Greece in October.

She had previously holidayed on the island and been dismayed at the amount of feral cats there.

Sally said: “I went on holiday and I was surprised at the number of stray cats. They are begging at the tables at the restaurants.

“In Crete cats are seen as a pest because there are just so many of them.”

While she was there, Sally confessed to falling for Ari – whom she describes as a typical Greek cat, with a very long tail and body – whom she named after the Cretan goddess Ariadne.

She decided to adopt her and made arrangements to bring her back to the UK.

And she admitted she was surprised to have fallen for Ari considering how many other kittens she had come across during her time as a veterinary nurse.

She said: “We always have kittens brought in. There are so many kittens out there that need homes.”

They include five who were found abandoned in a sodden cardboard box in Eastfield Park, Wellingborough, last week.

Sally’s decision to give Ari a home meant the cat had to travel six days in the back of a van driven by a man Sally knows only as Paul, who runs an ex-pat store in Crete.

Paul volunteered to bring Ari to the UK during a trip to collect supplies for his shop.

Sally said: “Paul comes to collect his stock. It takes six days by land and they have their own pet passports.

“I met Paul at junction 15A of the M1 for the handover. I thought: ‘Someone’s going to think this is really dodgy’.”

Ari is said to have settled in well at her new Northamptonshire home, which she shares with two other pet cats and two Jack Russells.

Sally added: “She rules the roost here. She’s the boss of the house, which I was quite surprised about.

“She is very sociable for a stray cat. But because she lived in a feral colony food is her priority, and she is always absolutely ravenous.”