There is a specific spot on Ermou, on the way to Kerameikos and right after Thiseio metro station, where I always stop to see and greet the cats. And they’re always there. Tens of them. Sometimes I feel like I’m looking at Pride Rock from The Lion King.
They say that people can be safely separated into two big groups: cat people and dog people.
If you belong in the former, like I do, there are again two ways you might feel about the fact that Athens is just full of strays: 1) you feel bad about the poor souls that have no-one to take care of them and are forced to fend for themselves in this tough life in the human city, or 2) you love every second of being surrounded by cats, owner or no owner. I can truly sympathise with the first viewpoint, especially keeping in mind that in many countries cats are absolutely not supposed to live and breed in the streets. In Greece, however, it’s so common one might as well learn to appreciate living next to the wild miniature panthers.
If Athens is a cat hotspot, the old centre is cat paradise. It’s the perfect environment for them: on the one hand, plenty of open space with rocks, old marble and other places to sunbathe on, many of which are cut off from the public with bars etc because they’re excavation sites, and on the other hand, access to food offered by locals who love animals.