As summer comes to an end on the small Greek island, young cat Chantal is back in the stray life after a luxurious couple of months fostered by a family on vacations. Unfortunately, the touristic village where she was born has turned into a ghost-town ahead of winter. Persuaded of her domesticated nature, Chantal sets on a quest across the island in search of the right human to adopt her. Along come the rest of the cats left behind: Tonto, her brother/hopeless bodyguard, charming though bold Tomcat Pedro, lady Lele – her soon to become teacher of good-pet-manners, old castrato Rasmus and innocent - though not so innocent- master ofpurringPurr-Purr. Surviving through the wilderness turns into a coming of age journey for Chantal as she discovers the joys and thrills of leading a stray life and explores animal instinctspreviously unknown to her. Thus, when she finally meets the one, she will need to question her true nature once again before surrendering to domestic life.
NINE LIVES LEFT was born while on vacations on the island of Syros. Two stray kittens had appropriated the house enjoying the services of all guests. As summer came to an end we all wondered what would happen to them when we were gone. I initially wrote the story as a novel, published in Greece in 2014 by Polaris Editions. Ever since 2020, I have been developing the novel into a fiction script in collaboration with producer Maria Kontogianni. NINE LIVES LEFT is a road-movie across our dormant,“wild” side. The theme of coming of age is constantly reflected on Chantal’s quest for a foster parent. Her search bears an identity crisis that unfolds along the way: Am I a pet, meant to spend my life under the protection of humans or am I a stray, meant to live unsupervised, with all the freedom and the risks that this entails? This dilemma stands as an allegory for the challenges children entering adolescence are faced with. Growing into an adolescent requires taking a walk on one’s wild side. Some children are eager to “escape” their parents’ surveillance and jump into the wilderness, others are reluctant to let go of the safety of their “domesticated” life, scared of the unknown territories of adulthood.