A couple who say a kitten "adopted them" after they found him meowing outside their hotel room while they were on holiday in Greece have brought him home with them to the UK.
Toni Czogalik and her boyfriend were holidaying at the Princess Adriana resort in Rhodes, Greece, in October, when they befriended the cat who is now their pet.
On their third night there, there was a thunderstorm and the couple heard meowing outside their hotel room. When they investigated they discovered a tiny male six-month-old black and white kitten on the doorstep.
They decided to let the little kitten, a European Shorthair, in to their hotel room so he was warm and safe. Then, just a few hours after meeting the kitten, who they named Nermal, the pair fell in love with him and decided that they would like to adopt him and bring him back to the UK.
A flight, a ferry and a car journey
When the couple decided they wanted to take Nermal home they had a number of things to do to ensure this was possible. First they had to go to the vet to get him microchipped and vaccinated, and then they went to the pet shop to buy a flight box, treats and an ID tag for the journey to the UK.
Nermal was then flown from Rhodes to Athens, travelled by boat to Italy and then he was driven to the UK to be reunited with Toni. He finally arrived to the UK on 8 November and has settled well into his new home in Essex.
Toni, a 23-year-old analyst, from Canvey, Essex, said: "One night on holiday there was a thunderstorm, and the kitten came to hotel door crying and soaking wet. We looked after him for the night and ever since then he kept coming back to our room and wouldn’t leave us alone.
Toni said it was "stressful" bringing Nermal back to the UK as they first had to work out who the kitten belonged to and where he came from.
She said: "It was really difficult, the first few days I messaged every single charity in Greece that dealt with cats. We first took him to the vet to find out if he was healthy and microchipped. He wasn’t microchipped, so they said he was definitely a stray. The vet then gave him a microchip, rabies vaccination and a health passport, where I then began the process to have him flown over."
After going to the vets and messaging animal charities, Toni came across the Greek Animal Rescue, who found Nermal’s foster parents based in Rhodes and arranged flights for him to the UK.
The cat rescue cost £800 and took four days. Nermal travelled from Rhodes to Athens, Greece. The kitten then got a ferry to Italy, before he was driven to the UK - where he has now been living happily.
“We’re so excited to spoil him”
Toni said she is loving looking after Nermal, and thanked those who helped to bring him to the UK.
“We fell in love with him as he is the friendliest and most loving little kitten I have ever met. He is so cuddly, he wants to jump on and cuddle you all the time. We are so excited to spoil him and give him the best life in the UK. He is loving life, he is so spoiled. The volunteers were amazing - without them, we wouldn’t have been able to do it."