Well all of a sudden it's July. The heat here in the Ionian has been cranked up for a few weeks now and we're all feeling it.
Predictably, the summer kitten situation now has me sharing the inside of my home with 11 kittens from various sources. Gratefully they are all doing well and full of energy and well-being. This however means they are eating up a storm, pooping accordingly and into EVERYTHING. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. The alternative, which I have faced many times is having sickly or very young kittens that need medication and constant care and that I have to worry about in terms of their survival. So for now thankfully there is no bottle feeding but I do dread what each day might bring as I really can't cope with any more and as you all know, I'm not good at turning them away. Oh.... and my legs are covered in scratches where the kittens have decided to climb them!!
There are prospective homes for 2 kittens at this point, one in Germany and the other locally but that still leaves 9 of the new arrivals to home and I still have a lot of last winter's kittens living outside now in my garden along with the mature cats that were already there in abundance. This is by far the hardest thing to accomplish with cats here in Greece; getting good forever homes. For some reason there seems to be much less difficulty homing dogs even if this involves them going elsewhere in Europe. I always live in hope and know that magic happens when you least expect it. I remain proud of and grateful for the excellent homes I have managed to find.
Given how challenging the cat population is here, sterilisation remains a high priority and since my last update I have had 3 of last winters kittens sterilised as they are roughly 9 months old now. Lou, Lucky and Dingle were all done without drama and have recovered well although there were surprises. Lou went into the clinic as Blossom (female) but turns out she was in fact a he.... Lou is short for the Greek word louloudi which means flower and I reckon Lou is our first sex change ;-p Dingle was diagnosed with stomatitis while he was examined which is an incurable inflammatory condition of the oral cavity. He will have problems with eating and pain as time goes by and is likely to need frequent vet care. The cats here at my little sanctuary are getting harder to catch but catch them somehow I must; there are still quite a number that need sterilising. I am holding off a little until I can pay down the vet bill which is now about 250 euros. While they never turn me away I am anxious about being in debt to them and don't want it to get out of hand, especially as I am regularly in debt to the local supermarket where I get discounted cat food.
The long suffering oldies in the gang here are still being fed wet food twice daily and are well used to this routine. Any time I walk out of the front door and head towards the general area where I feed them there is a stampede of the hopefuls. There are always biscuits and fresh water available so the cats are never truly starving and the wet food is more of a treat than core nutrition - kind of like a Greek 'meze'. The hardest thing about having so many cats to care for as well as the house and garden, is the limited time I have to give them individual attention, which they all deserve. A couple of the older cats that have had rough times before they got here just need to be special to someone, not have to fight the other cats for their share of the wet food and probably have additional vet care. Here I can only address urgent health issues; optimal quality of life is still a luxury when survival is so tenuous here.
My heartfelt thanks again to the wonderful people who have made donations since my last update; via this site and in person. I have been blessed with cat food, cat carry and litter boxes, feeding bottles and medications such as eye drops which someone always seems to need and funds, all of which make a world of difference to what I can do.
Big love to all til next report; we will be soldiering on here....