This is one memorable cat.  Patrick Leigh Fermor had chance to observe the same big tom-cat every night in Athens after the war, performing what was clearly a regular feline routine.  I loved this whole story.

For other cat-related Greek tails, see also the naming of cats in Crete.

‘The cats of Athens, like the citizens, are very intelligent.  Just after the war I used to eat almost every night in an open-air taverna in the Plaka. One end of the garden was separated by a high wall from an outdoor cinema, and at the same moment every night, a huge black and white tom-cat stalked over the tiles to sit with his back towards us on this wall, intent and immobile except for the slow rhythmic sway of his hanging tail.  After exactly five minutes he would saunter away again over the roofs.  The waiter’s verdict on this procedure was obviously correct: “He comes for the Mickey Mouse every night,” he explained. “You could set your watch by him.”‘

See also our selection of cat quotes in a dedicated page. 

Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, introduction by Michael Gorra, New York: New York Review of Books, 2006 (1958), p. 301

Photo credit: Federica Diliberto at


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