The original monastery was built in 327 AD, by Kalokeros, the first Byzantine governor of Cyprus, and patronized by Saint Helena. What is now known as the Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats. During the Turkish invasion, the Monastery was completely destroyed and its residing monks slaughtered or taken into captivity. Left without food and shelter, the cats left and wandered around the island.

The descendants of these cats are to be found today cared for by the nuns of the monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats on the outskirts of Limassol.

“It is wonderful to see them, for nearly all are maimed by the snakes: one has lost a nose, another an ear, the skin of one is torn, another is lame: one is blind of one eye, another of both.  And it is a strange thing that at the hour for their food, at the sound of a bell, they collect at the monastery and when they have eaten enough, at the sound of that same bell, the all depart together to go fight the snakes.” Visiting Venetian Francesco Suriano (1484)

Other Influence;

9500 BC Evidence of cat domestication on Cyprus
328 AD Arrival of Cats from Egypt and Palestine
1484:  Report on Cyprus cat activity by visiting Venetian Monk
1571:  The invasion of Cyprus by the Ottoman Empire
1878:  The occupation of Cyprus by the British Empire