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....
Seems like it was only yesterday 2019 got started and here we now are fast rocketing towards the middle of the year. European spring in Greece is now in full swing and kitten season has had an early start. A couple of weeks back and right in the midst of a busy personal time I was contacted by a local who reported some very young kittens abandoned. in a crate with a little bit of foam in the bottom on the harbour.
The short and sad story is that I went down and collected these precious little ones, only a few days old, eyes still closed and brought them home to care for them. This involved feeding every 2 - 3 hours around the clock, attention to pooping and weeing and keeping them toasty warm. I could not have managed this without the support of a dear friend who was visiting me for just over a week and assisted with the babies during the day while I did the night feeds. By the 6th day all 4 kittens had died despite our very best efforts to keep them going; just too sad.
Very young kittens, especially those under 4 weeks of age have an infinitesimally small chance of survival when they are separated from their mother. This sad situation prompted me to announce to my local community that care should be taken when coming across kittens that there is no mother in the picture. Mother cats will leave their babies in the nest and go off for food and toileting etc and come back regularly to feed them, warm them up and check on their welfare. If you find kittens in the wild or tucked away some place, just keep watch to see if there's a Mum that comes back before removing the bubs. Of course if you find a kitten in the dumpster like another friend did just a few days ago, like happens all to often here in Greece then that's a different thing.
A week after the kittens died, a friend in the neighbouring village called distressed to report that one of her cats that had a litter of 4 three week old kittens was hit and killed by a car. A went straight over with formula and a feeding bottle to get them started and gave my friend advice and support as well my sympathies for her deceased cat while seething inside that people insist on driving too fast down small, windy village roads. The village where she lives is a very dangerous place for the felines that live there as far as the traffic goes. This litter of four is a beautiful bunch, well cared for by their mum up until her sad demise and so far they are hanging in and our fingers are crossed. As I said before, it really is touch and go for little ones orphaned so young.
It is bad enough that cats fall prey to cars but what is undeniably evil and sadly prevalent here as the population explodes with new arrivals and the tourist season gets underway is the appalling practice of laying out baits for cats and dogs (in fact any creatures). It is an indescribably cruel and unpleasant way for an animal to die but something that does happen here all too often and yet another threat to the animals.
Another of the joys of Spring in Greece is the snakes which emerge when the sun comes out. About a week ago another friend's cat came home distressed and crying after playing outside during the day with a snake bite. As luck would have it this happened on a Sunday, however one of the local vets responded to the call for help and this lovely young cat who I have cat-sat was treated and is recovering well.
These events have prompted me to expand my knowledge and preparedness to respond to situations such as poisonings, bites and stings and care of orphaned kittens. I always have antibiotics, cortisone and eye drops on hand as well as kitten formula and a bottle (which I must replace since I gave them away!). As soon as I can manage it I need to get some first aid instruction on how to handle the bites and poisonings and buy some supplies to have in my animal care kit. Now my little 'Sanctuary' is quite known locally and I am tagged as the "Cat Lady" people regularly ask me for advice and help. I'm thinking I should look into an on line vet nursing course too at this rate!!! Once again the support I get through this site and my local community are invaluable in resourcing me to provide the help I do.
The four little kittens that didn't make it are now buried under my lemon tree and the rest of the gang are essentially going along fine with the odd wound, sniffle etc. and the twice daily feeding that goes on as ever at a current monthly cost of approximately 200 euros on average. In addition there are medications, vet costs and the additional laundry and cleaning that is needed.
Thanks again for all your support, til next time :-)
After years of not having success homing needy cats and accumulating them instead I'm so excited that the first completed adoption of 2019 has happened. The little one whose rescuer called him Michael Jackson (because it doesn't matter if you're black or white and he was a bit of both!) has arrived safely in England and is settling into his new home. Whilst it was hard to let this dear little fella go it was wonderful at the same time that he has a forever home and will be the centre of a human's universe. This being said I am oh so glad the long trip by road and ferries is over and he's there!
I have two kittens that potentially have a home to go to in France but my big problem is getting them there.... Announcements have gone out over our local grapevine both electronically and by word of mouth so that people who are making the road trip across from Greece through Europe and to the UK might consider couriering an adopted pet. My fingers are crossed that this materialises and that the prospective family can be patient.
Spyridoula, initially called Odette continues to do super well in her new English home and her Mum recently reported that further to a vet visit, it was confirmed she has been blind from birth so did not go through any traumatic event or disease process that caused the blindness. This was good to hear and explains why her other senses are so sharp and she functions so very well. Her family love her, she now has a lovely relationship with the other cat as well (also a Greek rescue) and life is idyllic for her :-)
In the meantime life has continued in this little cat sanctuary through a cold and rainy winter with the usual challenges. This year courtesy of donated blankets, cages and animal shelters of all sorts the kitties that are living outside have had a good level of comfort and protection from the elements. It has been quite sweet to see they way they have snuggled up together in the cosy spaces provided. Of course there has been extra washing and cleaning as I have this little community outside my kitchen door under the verandah for the winter and inside and they do mess up! Inside the house I have accommodated quite a few kittens that have been more vulnerable because of their tender age or due to illness or injury.
Blossom who had her infected eye removed before Christmas is doing really well and Ashleigh and Dingle are both currently on antibiotics and eye drops. It's looking like Dingle will keep his eye although it's still not known whether the sight has been damaged. Another kitten on antibiotics as well as cortisone is poor little Viktor who contracted cat flu and became really ill with it. He was a kitten that hid in my home determinedly for a whole month when I first got him several months ago. Eventually he moved out into the garden with the outdoor cats (his own choice) and still wouldn't let me handle him. However once his sickness worsened and he developed a nasty infection of his sinuses and chest his intuition led him to move himself back into the house.
He still wouldn't let me handle him so I couldn't treat him sadly until he got so bad he was near death and couldn't resist me at all. The other cats were trying to take care of him, Titch was grooming him and between him and Linus they tried to snuggle with him and keep him warm. It's amazing how much the cat tribe cares for its members and touching to see. Once I was able to get antibiotics and cortisone into him as well as some wonderful stuff called Recuperation Fluid he starting picking up slowly. He's now improved to the point that he came outside for some sunshine today and when I pick him up which he now lets me do, he doesn't smell strongly of the infection. He is a lot more alert and energetic and looks so much better. Viktor has come a long way, from a cat who ran away from me to a cat that comes to me, tolerates me syringing medicine down his throat (although I'm now crushing the tablets into extra yummy food for him) and has put up with me cleaning his snotty nose and dirty little front legs from wiping said snotty nose.
In the midst of all this I have started some cat sitting as there are not a lot of good options on the island for people who have time away for holidays or business. My first guest Skunk stayed a couple of weeks, did well for a shy cat amongst the hoard and he's now back in the bosom of his family again. Lucky who came and stayed from late December through to the end of January has also been collected by his family on their return after a very successful 6 week stay. I currently have Pepe and Latte who are kittens I fostered and then adopted out to their new family in the second half of last year. They have not skipped a beat being back here as this was their home for some time so that's going well and their family is due back in a couple of weeks.
There are a load of others holding their own as well as some new faces, including a few that need naming, but I think that's quite enough news for this edition! Once again I am eternally grateful for the support I get. So many of my locals are regularly giving me cat food, I have had donations in the form of payments made directly into my vet account and to the vet for medicines which is amazing as well as the support of my people who make donations through this site. I was even fortunate recently receive food and a kind donation from supporters visiting from England who have previously donated by this site and came by to see the chaos that is cat central!
All in all we are rocking on and keeping our heads up so we can see Spring coming :-)
All the best to all til the next instalment.
It's been super busy with new arrivals and some departures, feeding, sterilising. nursing and cuddling even more than usual
Winter as always brings in more new faces and this year there are a lot of kittens that have come for shelter, food and safety from the elements and other dangers. Several kittens are living outside the house under cover and enjoying the comfort of a protected cat bed I have made up with blankets donated by Ingrid, while a couple of others (including Viktor who spent a month hiding in the house when he first arrived) have moved into the 2 storey cat hotel that Jo donated. Another bunch of kittens are being cared for inside the house due to their special needs. Blossom for example had an infected eye which sadly was not able to be saved and had it removed surgically. She has been treated since then with cortisone and antibiotics and has bounced back amazingly well.
Spyridoula who I called Odette initially is a young cat that lost both her eyes due to a disease process the vet thinks and was with me for a relatively short time having been brought to me by the kind hearted Zoltan who found her and was concerned about what kind of life a blind kitty would have in the wild and winter set in, I had her sterilised, wormed and flea treated and cared for her indoors. I had very low expectations of getting her a forever home but shared her story anyway and was thrilled that this resulted in her being adopted by Elizabeth all the way over in Devon, England. After vaccination, passport, microchip and other preparations, Spyridoula made the long trek from Greece to England by road and ferry through the generosity of Courtney who was driving there and this little blind cat who not long ago was wandering about alone in the wild now has a wonderful forever home! These are the outcomes we dream of!!!!
The sterilisation program has continued with Titch, Faith, Spyridoula and Lacey all being recently sterilised (I'm sure I've forgotten someone....) but with more still on the list... I am still trying to catch Callie (Lacey's sister) who is proving to be quite evasive...
A number of kittens and cats here are perfect for homing. Michael Jackson who has been here around 6 weeks and was initially quite frightened and wild is now a regular cuddle pot and needs to put on some condition would make a wonderful companion, as would Lucky who has found all the new arrivals rather annoying since they compete for my attention. In the evenings if I sit in front of the TV I become a cat tree as the kittens all vie for a spot to snuggle on me. Courtesy of my experience with Spyridoula I will not give up on finding these guys a forever home, but in the meantime the day to day work of caring for them continues. Sadly, Diamantis, a little one that came to me from the vet clinic after being treated for gastrointestinal issues and seemed to be settling so well passed away suddenly; this is never easy to take :-(
This year, 4 of the cats that have come to me at the end of the summer have been cared for by seasonal workers from overseas who have returned to their home countries and have been desperate to get somewhere for the kitties they feel a responsibility for. Apart from Viktor, more recently I collected a mother cat (who I called Faith) with a gorgeous coat and her two beautiful grey kittens and brought them here. Faith was not at all happy about being cooped up inside the house and howled almost incessantly, but I stuck it out until I could get her sterilised as I was not going to release her into what would have certainly been more pregnancies. Once she was done she was freed and disappeared for a few days but is now back in the garden and feeding with the other cats. Her kittens on the other hand have decided they quite like it here; one a beautiful fluffy grey that I've called Ash hangs with the other kittens and loves cuddles with me while his sibling continues to hide like Viktor used to...
So many stories, so much going on; but you get the idea :-)
Once again I am grateful beyond words for the support I receive; it really does keep me going both in practical ways and in terms of my morale.
Bless you all xo
Just got through a whirlwind of a month; highs and lows, hellos and goodbyes.
Last month I reported that Chryssoula the lovely older grey cat who's been here for years went missing; sadly she hasn't appeared. I can only assume she has died as it is not at all like her to stay away this long.
Three young kittens arrived (all separately); the youngest, only a couple of weeks old who was named Tango died the night he arrived, despite efforts to keep him going.
Pepe who was rescued from wandering alone on a road is being fostered in advance of heading to a forever home elsewhere in Europe. His first foster mum who brought him to me is very attached to him but one of her dogs was not at all keen on him, so he is here.
Not long after Pepe arrived, Latte came; he was found by one of our local dog rescuers alone eating puppy food at her puppy enclosure. After initial misgivings, Pepe and Latte have become the best of companions, they play, eat and sleep together and are really, really cute :-) I am sad that they will be separated once Pepe leaves for his forever home and I am sure they will miss each other.
There are a couple of other new faces; one black and white kitten about 5 months old that has turned up to feeding times alone and some new older tabbies. Once again I have no idea where they came from.
The sick list
Linus, Gerry and Sooty are on on the TLC list, all 3 are underweight and need higher calorie food and Linus has needed antibiotics for his cat flu. Pleasingly Gerry has been sponsored by Victoria who supplements his food supply and sends treats over for him; she so wanted to adopt him but has 2 dogs at home and knows this cannot be.
Pepe and Latte have also needed antibiotics and special Recuperation fluid when their condition started failing not long after they arrived; thankfully they are now doing really well. It has certainly been a big month medication and special supplies wise.
Thanks to some sponsorship from Animal Care Lefkas, 3 males have been neutered this month (Sooty, Linus and Red) and 2 females have been sponsored for spaying as soon as I can catch them! The targets are Callie and Lacey who are both about 1 year old and have been living here most of their lives amongst a large group of males after being brought by their mother Misty.
It's been an amazing month for fundraising. My dear friend and supporter Victoria held 3 separate fund raising events for the Cat Sanctuary as well as for Sallie, an amazing local who works tirelessly for dogs in need.
A ladies' wine and cheese evening and 2 quiz nights at local bars raised a fantastic total of 517.23 euro. These funds enabled me to settle outstanding accounts at the vet clinic (150) and at the supermarket (60), stock up on food (both wet and dry), particularly special kitten food and pay for medication (antibiotics, cortisone, worming and flea control).
The monthly food bill is usually about 150 euros but this has blown out with the kittens and the additional feeding those on the sick list need to achieve a better state of health. Whilst a lot of the funds raised have already been used; I still have some in reserve for ongoing needs and this will be a nice change from getting into debt.
A number of additional donations came through to this page as well as the couple of regular monthly donations; these will enable me to get some more sterilisations done and deal with the inevitable curve balls; something I just haven't been able to afford to date and I will report on these as they happen.
Other donations and help
I was thrilled and surprised to receive a gift of a fantastic cat tower from Hello Pets - a pet store in the main town on the island and it's been fantastic for entertaining the kittens and aiding their physical development. The older cats love it too!!! I also bought a couple of other toys since there are so many cats to occupy here!!
I have been given kitten formulas and bottles that were no longer needed by others and these are great to have on hand.
There have been a number of donations of food and that's always welcome :-)
A dear friend Billie has been coming by to play with and cuddle the kittens, something they can't have too much of; a welcome opportunity for me to get some other things done at home.
September is going to be hard to top!!!!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
Well nearly 2 weeks ago I arrived back from a 2 month visit back to my family in Australia.
While I was gone,my brother, who arrived a couple of days before I left, took over cat care at our little sanctuary and made sure the gang didn't go hungry or have other needs go unnoticed. I so appreciate my brother's efforts especially since he has some reservations about us having so many cats here (which followed him around everywhere).
Since I have returned I have been taking stock of who is here and what their condition is and attending to paying the costs associated with having the felines fed while I was gone. My very supportive local supermarket was good enough to put the cat food my brother picked up in my absence on a tab for me and I have paid that since I got back. I still have 150 euros outstanding at the vet clinic for Gerry's care and stitching up of Squeak's back which was so badly injured in June.
At this stage most cats have been accounted for in addition to a couple of newbies however there is a significant absence.... Chryssoula, my longest standing rescue, a beautiful grey cat who I have been through a lot with is Missing In Action. i had been holding off writing this update, hoping she would turn up but not so far and this is totally uncharacteristic and not a good sign. My brother said he had not seen her for a week or two before I got back. I hope she is somewhere else getting fussed over but truth is, I fear the worst.
I had similar fears for Sooty who came to me earlier this year very sick with the flu and who I treated here after I got him vet care. He was absent until today when he suddenly appeared outside the kitchen door, still a tad skinny and has since come in for food. I hope he stays put for a bit as he is on the neutering list....
Brothers Bubble and Squeak are fine - Squeak's wound has healed up beautifully and he has turned into a bit of an alpha male here with a tendency to harass the other cats at times. Titch, Theo, Cleo, Gin, Tab-Tab, Red, Callie, Goliath, Lacey, Linus, Tigger, Misty and a couple of as yet unnamed tabbies are here as before, one with breasts heavy with milk so obviously feeding kittens that she has hidden somewhere, perhaps to bring up here when they are old enough. There is a new kitten coming up for meals but staying out of sight otherwise; a beautiful black with white patches cat probably 3 months old. I cannot link this little one to a female and it is always alone. There are a couple of other new faces too and I will need to find some new names as the stocktake goes on.
Where to from here?
Even though I have had a number of the males neutered I still have quite a few to get done and at least 3 females that I can identify as of today. Gerry, Linus and Sooty need fattening up big time as they are painfully skinny so this will require some kitten food which is richer in calories. Linus may need some antibiotics and cortisone in addition to neutering as he is still battling flu symptoms despite having initially made a good improvement.
As always I am incredibly grateful for the support I get because I just cannot afford this endeavour without it; to be honest, even with it I struggle but the cats never go hungry and are never denied care even if it means I incur a debt. Tomorrow evening a dear friend and neighbour is holding a fundraising wine and cheese evening for local ladies at her home and has identified my little cat sanctuary to support as well as a fantastic local dog cause. I am so humbled by this gesture and looking forward to going :-)
Much love to all the animal lovers out there for now; will try to update a little sooner next time!
Greetings from my little cat sanctuary!
Thankfully the difficult conditions of winter are behind us now although there is still likely to be some rain before summer sets in properly. We have had soooo much rain this winter and this has not helped those felines unfortunate enough to pick up cat flu.
In this last month there have been more new arrivals, the first a black cat I have called Sooty, who turned up with such a clogged nose and runny eyes he was barely able to breathe. Skinny, hungry and desperate to be helped he offered no resistance to handling and care. The first morning after he arrived it was off to the vet where he had several injections but avoided admission because he willing to eat and drink. We were packed off with 10 days worth of antibiotics to be taken twice daily and instructions to buy some cortisone from the chemist also to be had twice a day; I am thrilled with his improvement and recovery and he now also no longer lingers far from here... Once again I can't help but think that he was someone's cat; not the least bit wild and ready to move inside and live with me... something I sadly cannot keep doing.
Another newbie is a very sad looking ginger and while cat which I've called Gerry - he is the grottiest, skinniest, saddest looking creature to arrive her for a long time. He has the classic look of a bin cat; dirty and with a black rough little nose from nosing around in the bins for whatever can be found. He too is desperate for affection and should ideally go to the vet too as he has patches of fur missing around his tail and on the crown of his head - possible mange but not the way I have usually seen it. For now he is eating a little but not the amounts you would imagine a hungry cat should and he is taking some time to improve although I'm confident he is slowly.
I had my own little mishap that impacted on my ability to doing anything more than feed the cats this last month when I fell down the stairs in my home and sustained a deep gash in my head which required stitches that still haven't come out and of course pain and stiffness all over my body given I fell from the top of the stairs down to the concrete tiled floor on the lower level. I am grateful to friends who came to my rescue and cared for both me and the cats while I was in hospital and I have been recovering slowly.
I really do need to get back to the vet with a number of cats that need follow up and attention, not to mention the de sexing that so many of my hoard need - mostly males which the free council service will not do. Sadly I suspect that it is too late for a couple of the young females that live here as spring was brought in with at least one of them being in heat even though they are so tiny and being ganged up on by some of the older more aggressive males. I will be very surprised if they are not already pregnant. I feel so tortured by this since those kittens have been living here most of their lives but their mother managed, in the time she cared for them to infuse them with a wildness that make them not amenable to handling. Even when I feed the gang these little girls stay well back until I have put the food down before coming forward. I am ashamed to say I have probably left trying to catch them a bit too late. So I watch and a I wait to see if the kitten population explodes again....
In the meantime Spring means the wildlife surges; swallows making nests in the weirdest places, geckos, moths, mosquitoes and snakes.... Just 2 days ago I found Sooty chomping down in the garden on a young snake and he was quite possessive of his catch. He get the award for first snake of the season!!!
Take care til next time my wonderful supporters; we will continue to solder on as best we can here grateful as ever for your encouragement, emotional, financial and practical support :-)
The planet is certainly in a state of weather confusion; the blossoms have been on the trees here in Greece for weeks already and it's still officially been mid winter. On the whole, winter on Lefkada has been relatively mild although we have had enough rain to fill the dams we don't have and that is a good thing even considering the drenchings we've all had. In its last gasp winter has delivered us a cold snap that hit us this week but we are still fortunate here as the rest of Europe is under snow. So the cats have had a reprieve in that regard and those that have milled around me have been regularly fed as well.
As always, it has been a challenge to keep delivering the twice daily feeds to the hoard. I am forever grateful to my supporters especially those in my local community who have given what they can when they can. Bags of cat biscuits and tins of wet food have been gratefully received by me and then of course the felines. As I've said before I can never have enough food and it's always on the shopping list. When I am penniless even the local supermarket is supportive letting me go into hock to get what's needed although this is far from ideal; he knows I'm good for it.
I am still avoiding the vet clinic until I have funds to pay the outstanding account and this is a source of stress and embarrassment to me as well as a barrier to getting attention to the cats that need it. I still have at least 3 cats old enough to be desexed and a couple that need other veterinary attention. I live in hope that all that will be sorted in time. In the meantime the care continues as we all wait for warmer days and the promise of more pickings in the bins and at the tavernas that will soon be milling with tourists and locals alike.
It's been hard to know where to start in giving an update.... So much has happened since I got back from Australia over 3 months ago. The end of the European summer brings its own set of challenges for animals as the litters of kittens and puppies born as the weather cools and conditions become harder set in and survival rates drop.
There have been the unsurprising but still unexpected departures and new arrivals during this time. Not long after I got home one of lthe early summer's kittens which had seemingly been doing well and settled into life as one of the mob here, died. I found it one morning in the vegetable patch, unmarked and with no clue to what caused its death. The question of poisoning always emerges in these cirucmstances. I had only posted a photo of this one's lovely little face the day before I scooped its lifeless body up out of the garden.
just as quickly as I said goodbye to one, another arrived - a young tabby with a smelly wound; we called her Tabitha. She was grateful for help and responded well to care. It became quickly obvious that she needed veterinary attention. Just as quickly as she came she too was gone, succumbing to a blood infection caused by her wound which we concluded had been due to either being struck by a car or being kicked or otherwise hurt by a human. She spent a day and night in the vet clinic, was given fluids, antibotic treatment and warmth but was too far gone to rally. We were left to be comforted by the knowledge that she died in caring hands with more dignity than a death by the side of the road or in a bin would have offered.
Just a few days later while hanging my washing out I hear my neighbour's son tell his father "I think it thinks I am its mother". Of course my ears prick up and knowing these neighbours would most definitely not care for any homeless creature, I called to them to pass whatever it was over the fence to me, which they did. And so it came to pass that a wee kitten only a few weeks old, which I later called Titch, came to live here at my little cat sanctuary.. Titch became ill overnight on his first night, so he too ended up in the vet clinic and I was warned that he was very young, severly dehydrated, cold and it was quite likely he wouldn't make it either. Much to the surprise of the clinc staff by the next morning after overnight treatment, young Titch had fought his way back to viability and I was told to come and collect him before any of the really scik cats there infected him with something. Titch as a delicate young one has needed a lot of individual care and love as very young kittens that do not have the benefit of being properly mothered have much lower survival rates. So it has come to pass that I am Titch's mother and he is never far from me.
About the same time that Titch arrived another new face appeared that too has ended up being a permanent resident. This cat, a beautiful orange tabby which I have called Gin has clearly come from a domestic situation and has been a pampered pet. He resisted all attempts to get him to move on and he is desperate to get into the house whenever he can; he loves sleeping on the bed. Most likely he has belonged to someone here who has moved on and he has been left behind. I cannot understand how anyone can do this..... The other cats here were not at all sure about Gin and he has had a hard time here initially but he has not caved in and now he too is one of the extended cat community.
After Gin another Tabby kitten which had been getting fed at a house higher up in the village migrated down to our place after the residents at the house moved on after the summer. This one which I call Tab-tab has quickly bonded with both Titch and Gin and is well at home here too. along with 2 of Misty's 4 kittens which I've called Cal and Co as they are calico in colouring.
So the nett position here is one of a permanently expanded bunch which means I am currently feeding around 20 cats twice daily. Needless to say this is a costly endeavour but one to which my commitment is ongoing. I continue to value all the support I get in its many forms; moral support, gifts of cat food and the modest donations of money that come my way. I continue to run a tab at the vet and currently have animals in need of vet care which I am not accessing for them until I can make further payment on the vet bill. Any donation no matter how small makes a different to me and the cats I care for. I have added some new photos on this site that show some of the current crew so check them out :-)
A long overdue update to let folks know that cat central is still plugging away! Armed with a new computer I am back in action with working tools to keep in touch after having had a trip back to Australia to visit family and get out of the stifling Greek summer heat.
Getting away would not be an option if it was not possible to make solid arrangements for the feline family. We are blessed indeed that my brother and I played tag team and he arrived as I left and took over the cat care. Through the hottest part of the summer my brother fed and watered the ever expanding crew supported by the funds from this site and his own contribution for which I am extremely grateful. Our visitors treated them with extra scraps from their dinners and I know this would have gone down very well with them!
I have arrived back to a very warm greeting from all the inner circle and was thrilled to discover that 'Red' one of the kittens that has grown up in the garden which was less amenable to handling is now enjoying petting and is over his reticence of handling. My brother has worked some magic there, for I had resigned myself to the notion that Red would never accept handling. What he doesn't realise is that this now puts him in line for neutering along with Bubble and Squeak two of last year's other kittens; something I will get onto as soon as I recover fully from the long haul back from Australia.
Theo, Cleo and Chrysoula are all looking leaner but very happy to see me also and making up for lost time in terms of cuddles :-) I am feeling that Chrysoula in particular may need to get onto wet food as she has lost quite a bit of condition; the teeth she had extracted last year has clearly made it more difficult for her to eat. Another of last year's kittens 'Tiny' is also around but continues to be shunned by the others for reasons I don't really understand; he is such a sweet cat. The cat which had 5 kittens when I left and had brought them up to our garden for safety and feeding is still around; alas I only seem to have one of her kittens here. I am still hoping I will see more.
Summer is just another form of challenging for the cats of Greece, for while there is more food around because of tourism and extra rubbish, there is also a lot more traffic on the road. This makes the roads much more dangerous as visitors and locals alike buzz around far too quickly; this time will be sure to have had its casualties and I am surely yet to discover which feline faces are missing.
The next steps in cat care will be to play catch up with worming and flea spotting all the inner circle as this would have been just too much to ask of my brother, followed by getting the young males neutered one by one as I can cobble together the funds. Unfortunately the public sterilisation programme here only desexes the femaies :-(
Once again I express my ongoing gratitude for the support I get from my supporters here and in my local community. Everything helps! I will take some new photos of the gang and post them in the coming weeks so you can see how wonderful they all are :-)