Zeus, Ellie, and Annie are three kittens that were rescued by my family in Lefkada, Greece, and brought to America via airplane.

Picture of kitten-Zeus

The kittens were found on our family vacation in the village of Fterno, Greece. Zeus was four months old and Annie and Ellie were three months old when we found them.

Ellie as a kitten in a carrier

The three kittens were brought to the vet in Lefkada, Greece. The veterinarians were very kind and encouraging towards us bringing the kittens back to America and into a loving home.

Annie, a kitten, laying on a blanket

Annie was unfortunately diagnosed with a neurological disorder and could barely walk on her own. She was less than 3 pounds in weight.

The three kittens were brought back to my family’s apartment in Athens, Greece to stay for the remainder of the trip.

We ended up changing our plane tickets for our trip home because the airline we had originally booked with would not allow us to bring the kittens back with us. The airline that we did switch to only allowed us to bring two kittens back.

We decided to leave Zeus in the care of our relatives in Greece until a friend of ours that was traveling for vacation brought him back for us on her way home about a month later.

Ellie and Annie arrived safely in the United States and got adjusted to their new home with us.

Zeus arrived safely a couple of weeks later on a separate plane flight and was reunited with Ellie and Annie.

Annie, a black kitten laying on a gray blanket

Once Ellie and Annie were brought home, we brought Annie to multiple specialists to try to help her condition. Through all of the treatment and attempts to save her, she still began to lose more weight and her health continued to decline. Shortly after we brought Annie home, she passed away.

Zeus and Ellie still live with us today and love their two golden retriever siblings Calvin and Comet. They adjusted well to their new home and we are so happy to have them.

For my photo essay, I wanted to touch on the topic of stray animals in European countries, such as Greece. It is disheartening to see how many stray animals, especially cats are living in Greece without homes and in less-than-ideal environments. Most cats in Greece are not spayed or neutered and continue to reproduce, which is allowing more and more cats to have no homes. My photo essay is a story about the three kittens that my family and I rescued on a trip to Greece to visit our family. I wanted to share the story of Zeus, Ellie, and Annie as a way to show that there is something that can be done for strays in Greece. My family and I wanted to at least do something to help, even if we were only able to help a small number of strays that were there. 

I chose the topic of truth and believability in photos for my photo essay. I narrowed it down to show the truth behind stray animals in Greece and what happens to them. I decided to show the kittens in different environments that went along with the story that I was telling in the descriptions to portray believability through my photos. One of the kittens we rescued had a neurological problem and ended up passing away very early in her life. We did everything we could but this could have been avoided if it was treated earlier on by someone that could’ve gotten to her sooner.

I followed the tips in the module instructions and started it off with two signature photos of each kitten that we rescued. I also put their names below their photos so the reader would know which kitten was which. I included some up-close photos and some farther-away photos to add variety to my photo essay. I also included the photos that included interaction, by showing each kitten interacting with one another. I also included a photo of myself holding one of the kittens when we first brought them home. I also added pictures of the kittens in many different environments, such as where we found them, our apartment in Athens which is where they stayed with us for the remainder of the trip, as well as our home in the United States, where we brought them to. I wanted to add as much detail to the story as possible by not just including the happy moments, but also the struggles that we endured during this experience. It was a long and somewhat difficult process to get the kittens back to the United States. We had to switch airlines and switch our flights for our trip home so that they would be able to fly with us. We were also unable to bring one of the kittens because we were only allowed to bring 2 back on the flight. We had to leave Zeus there with our relatives until a friend that was going on vacation brought him back for us on her way home. I also included the clincher photographs of the kittens with our two golden retrievers to end my photo essay on a touching note that provides a happy ending for the reader. 

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