The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats

By following comments at Chris’ blog, I came across the fascinating story that I haven’t heard before – the story of The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats.

The Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats is regarded as a sacred cat haven in Cyprus, as it’s name has been linked to felines for almost 2,000 years.

The original monastery was built in 327 AD, by Kalokeros, the first Byzantine governor of Cyprus, and patronised by Saint Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great. At that time, a terrible drought affected the whole of Cypus, and the entire island was overrun with poisonous snakes which made building the monastery a dangerous affair. Many of the inhabitants left their homes and moved off the island, for fear of the snakes, but Saint Helena came up with a solution to the plague – she ordered 1,000 cats to be shipped in from Egypt and Palestine to fight the reptiles.

In the following years, the cats did their duty, hunting and killing most of the snakes in the Akrotiri Peninsula, which soon came to be known as the “Cat Peninsula”.

Christmas tree is up and blinking

We’ve setup our Christmas decorations today.  This a bit later than we usually do it, but still much earlier than I feel we should do it.  Anyway.  Now everything is sparkling yellow, solid green, and blinking colors.  It looks nice and fresh, but there is definitely a need to switch some of the lights off at least once in a while…

Maxim and Cappa are overexcited about this whole Chritmas thing.  Cappa tries to climb up the tree and bangs on all the toys.  Maxim helps her to hit those chocolate balls in hope that they will fall off and he will be allowed to unwrap and eat them all.  Or spread them all over the walls and furniture in the most unaesthetic manner…

The Christmas is coming.