Evie’s endeavours for animals in need

Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Jun 16, 2017

The snow and miserable conditions of the early part of this year are now fading into memory and are being replaced by increasingly hot and dry conditions. This being said we had a cold front pass through only a week ago that brought summer rain and hail!!!! Totally weird for Greece. The cats I support are looking more determinedly for the fresh the water I leave out every day and drinking deeply; I am now thinking I may have to leave more watering points around the garden for them.

Once again kitten season is upon us and at least a couple of the untamed cats in my crew have had kittens. One day they are here with swollen bellies for their feed and the next they appear with their bellies collapsed and their teats on show... This is always worrying for me. How many kittens have they had? Are they OK? When will they bring them to me? I would so like to relieve them of this burden and have them de-sexed but they are totally resistant to handling even though they have a measure of trust in me. One of the piebald cats (there are two) appears to have had 2 kittens (at least that have survived) and as I drove down the road a few days ago she was crossing with them - one safely across and the other being carried in her mouth by the scruff of its little neck. I couldn't help but think to myself that she was in the process of bringing them up to my garden although I haven't seen the little ones yet even though mum is a regular at the feed bowl. One eyed tabby has also been pregnant and isn't any more but I've not sighted her with any kittens at this stage.

My inner circle has expanded to 7 core cats due to the determination of 2 of the young cats that have basically spent their whole lives around my garden but have not been amenable to handling, pushing their way in. Tiny and Red are related to Bubble and Squeak (who I have raised since their mother Queenie brought them to me as very young ones) and they play together in the garden. The rest of the core gang are of course Chrysoula, Theo and Cleo who, bless them, have come to accept the expanded gang despite some initial impatience and jealousy. In fact they have been quite protective of Bubble and Squeak who despite being much improved are still showing signs of the cat flu they have battled for some months. I am told it will never completely leave them. Bubble is a particularly tiny male whose growth has probably been stunted because of the ongoing flu. They are however dear little fellows who are affectionate and calm and enjoy their days playing in the garden or relaxing in the sunshine or shade depending on the prevailing conditions :-)

In the interests of fostering more independence and encouraging the cats away from the house I have started feeding them down on the lower terrace under the orange and olive trees. This is working well and has helped reduce the cat traffic around the house which to be honest had gotten out of control. There are always cats in my garden and a large number of them are just passing through for food. I have to be vigilant about the house as they will scoot in boldly any chance they get in search of anything edible despite there almost always being cat biscuits in the bowls outside.

Once again I am extremely grateful for ongoing support. I neglected to mention in my last update that on my visit to Norway over the festive season, I received a donation of a cat cage from Titti and 50 euros toward food for which I was extremely grateful. My dear friend Nikki recently visited and donated a 20kg bag of cat food and my neighbour Victoria has been regularly donating cat food, inspired by the knowledge that her own cat Misty is eating here now too having been terrorised away from their home by their new dog Theo (much to Victoria's dismay).

I will be travelling again soon.... I must go back to Australia to visit my children and will leave the cats for a number of months, however my brother will be here and will put food out and I know I can call on local supporters if need be for help too. I am however on a mission to stockpile some food for my absence as I don't expect my brother to foot the feed bill. I am also planning to have Bubble and Squeak de-sexed and this will have to be paid for. Unfortunately, for reasons I do not understand the free de-sexing programmes here only extend to females.

All and any donations, no matter how small are gratefully received; at this stage I am still dipping into my shallow pockets to keep up, however the cats NEVER go without food, even if it means I have to go into hock with the local supermarket who are very understanding.

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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Apr 25, 2017

It's been a little while since my last update; truth be told it's been hard for me to know where to start.

The beautiful kittens in my profile picture sadly succumbed to the cat flu despite my efforts to save them. They had both been started antibiotics and I ended up having to syringe feed them fluids as they were becoming dehydrated and had lost interest in eating :-( They just seemed to fade in front of me as I held them and tried to keep them going. It was a terrible night; the night before I left for a few weeks for the Christmas season. I buried the little ones in my garden in the early hours of the morning just an hour before my transport arrived. It was a sad day indeed.

For the cats I left behind while I was away I made several cubby houses outside under cover complete with waterproofing, pillows and rugs and cosy boxes to climb into. I was truly blessed to have a dear friend come up to my home every day for the time I was gone to feed and visit with the cats who she said all usually reported into her. Thanks to the support you give me I was able to leave 60kg of dry food and some tinned food for my friend to feed with and she sent videos and photos to me to keep my anxiety about them in check. My cat crew survived the worst of the winter while I was away during which time it snowed!!!

Since my return the other 2 kittens I have been caring for in the 'inner circle' (Bubble and Squeak) have both developed symptoms of the cat flu, most likely transmitted from the 2 that died. I am watching them closely and may need to get them antibiotics if things progress to infection; the smaller of the pair is certainly more delicate.

The older cats are doing fine but missing the wet food which I now don't buy as the cost is prohibitive to feed so many of them. I am only buying a kitten pate for the small sickly kitten to help build it up and I have to feed it separately which can be tricky.

We said goodbye to one of the long term middle circle crew - RIP Matthau - named after Walter Matthau and thinking of his role in Grumpy Old Men. He came through reasonably often and ate and was revered by the younger cats who kept their distance. Sadly he was hit by a car and found dead by the side of the road that goes in front of my house.

A new member of the group is 'Misty' who was a much loved cat of a friend who lives in the neighbourhood who unfortunately was not liked by the family's new dog and that's putting it mildly! Despite their efforts to accommodate her she has been living at large like so many others but has found her way here to this cat friendly place much to the delight of her former family who are now contributing to the cat biscuit supplies :-)

In addition to whatever else the cats need, at the moment I am going through around 60kg of cat biscuits a month which currently cost me 20 euros a bag. At my last purchase a few days ago the local supermarket informs me that the factory they come from has been gutted by a serious fire so we are not sure what impact that is going to have on supply... will be staying tuned for that as other alternatives have been much more expensive.

We are well into spring now in Greece and summer is definitely in the air. On the one hand it's lovely and we don't have to worry about the cold so much nicer outside for the cats. On the other hand I am dreading kitten season!

Thanks again for supporting my efforts to do what I can for these dear creatures.



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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Dec 05, 2016

As the weather gets colder there are more cats coming around regularly in search of food. It is hard to police who is eating what and at the end of the day if they are hungry they should eat, although some of the cats that come by here do not look like they lack regular food. I find myself wondering if, like hobbits they are after second or third breakfast...

The kittens are coming along slowly, despite mostly eating well and drinking too they seem to be taking forever to put on some condition. That of course could be my impatience for them to get bigger and stronger and be better equipped to cope outside in the wide world of cats here. The two tabbies still have mild symptoms of cat flu with runny eyes and the odd sneeze although this is not severe, I suspect it is getting in the way of their thriving. They are constantly seeking contact and cuddles and would spend most of their times perched on me like little parrots if I would let them..

The two white and ginger kittens are strikingly different in their progress. Squeak has gone out into the big wide world, appears confident and gets up to goodness knows what during the day, but comes back to snuggle up with Bubble at night. When back Squeak also demands extensive tummy rubs and cuddles too! Bubble I am more concerned about... for the last couple of days Bubble has been really whiny and clingy and I don't know if this is in response to Squeak disappearing for longer stretches, or perhaps having caught dose of the flu from the tabbies or something else altogether. I am monitoring Bubble for the time being, who sticks around close to home with Edmund and Hillary (the tabbies, so named for their love of climbing me).

As for forever homes for these guys, nothing seems on the horizon at the moment :-(

My more pressing concern is having to leave the gang for the holidays; something that was pre arranged. I have been lucky enough to have a local friend offer to come up every day and put food out which is fabulous. I have arranged food for her to put out and also had an offer from the lovely man at the supermarket that if it runs out while I am still away, she can come and get what she needs and I can pay him when I get back. He's a lovely guy but he also does well out of the cat lady ,-p

The older cats will cope outside I know... it is the kittens that concern me. Today I have constructed a cat cave in a sheltered spot in the outdoor area complete with plastic sheeting, tarpaulin, wind break, old pillows and the familiar red blankets the kittens have been using which I had bought on Air Asia flights a few years back. Tonight will be the kittens first night outside together; it has to be done some time...

Wish us luck!!
Thanks again for all your wonderful encouragement and support.

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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Nov 23, 2016

For the most part the cats I help are congenial; if they don't want to get close they don't, they sneak up and have their food when I'm at a safe distance and the cats they want to avoid aren't around. There is a kind of order to this....

However in the last few days a rather aggressive and bullish, large, young ginger male has been storming in on our little haven and disturbing the peace. He is bold and lawless.... has no qualms about barging into the house through the slightest opening that appears and greedily scoffing whatever he might find. He stalks, growls and has attacked the kittens so I have to watch like a hawk.

He is not frightened of me at all although oddly enough he tolerates me picking him up by the scruff of the neck and ejecting him. So.... I have an idea that I could catch him and get him neutered which would be great in it itself given we don't want him harassing the females in heat which he most certainly will do but also because it should calm him down at least a bit. Trouble is I don't have a cat cage....

When I took the latest kitten arrivals to the vet I used the vacuum cleaner box and this has turned into their bed. The livelier kitten did however manage to get out of the box inside the car so that caused a bit of anxiety and mild mayhem until I retrieved it.

So.... I am looking for support to cobble together funds for a cat cage to have on hand to be able to transport animals to the vet for routine treatment and de-sexing whenever I get hold of fertile animals. The beauty of getting to care for kittens is that we build a relationship that allows me to handle them which makes getting them into a cage much easier so all that vet care including sterilisation can happen at the appropriate time with less fuss.

I am thoroughly committed to getting as many animals as I can de-sexed so will very much appreciate support getting a cage that I can have on hand for opportunistic catches as well as the routine.

Meantime the kittens are doing very well despite mild flu like symptoms such as the occasional sneeze and the odd discharge from an eye. I have been wiping their eyes daily with a face washer in warm water and they are now so much clearer than when they first came to me. The kittens are all lively and playful and come for cuddles of their own volition; all good signs though demanding!!! The next step for them will be inoculations but that will be hard for the older kittens until I can get a cage.

Now to find them homes!!!

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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Nov 16, 2016

Thank you to everyone who is supporting me; I am overwhelmed by your goodwill encouragement and practical assistance!

Just as I was waiting for my pension to arrive so I could buy more cat food and wondering how unsustainable my situation here is with caring for all these animals I find myself with support. This means the world to me and of course the animals (chiefly cats at the moment) that routinely come by for meals or are being fostered by me right now.

The current cast of characters includes what I have come to call my 'inner circle' of 3 cats - Chryssoula, Theo and Cleo. All 3 were found their way to me alone from I'm not sure where but they appeared on my doorstep and have made a home with me.

There is a large 'middle ring' of cats, frequently with their kittens that base themselves in and around my garden which rely on me for food and relative safety. Queenie, whose 3 kittens (now grown cats) from last year are amongst this group as well as 3 tabbies - one that has lost an eye, one with a damaged leg which I've called Skipper another that seems to have managed to stay in one piece. Then there's a multicoloured patched cat with her kittens - I think there's 3 of them altogether. Also regulars are 2 ginger males, one a mature cat the other not long out of kittenhood.

Then there are the interlopers... those that come by for a feed but tend to wander more widely and I don't necessarily see them everyday but as the bad weather sets in and the tourists leave they become more needy such as Myklepuss, Matthau (because he is a grumpy old man and scares the others).

And then there are those I am actively fostering. 2 beautiful white and ginger kittens from Queenie's litter this year that have become quite tame and attached despite the fact she raised them until they were weaned. They are about 3 months old I expect and have called them Bubble and Squeak; I am hoping to find them forever homes; they would make wonderful companions. Lastly there are 2 very young tabby kittens that someone abandoned at my home anonymously. They are between 4 and 6 weeks of age as estimated by the vet and have latched onto me as though their life depends on it - I guess it does.... I have no idea what their gender is but I am inclined to call them Edmund and Hillary because of their love of climbing... there is no way I can sit without them scaling my legs and getting up onto me...

Honestly I think I've lost count of the cats and kittens I am supporting but it's probably better that way. For now I know I need to go get another 20kg sack of cat food and some tinned food for those with less teeth and the younger ones to get some condition on them. I am so grateful that I can go do this knowing I am being backed up by people who care as I do about animals in need :-)

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Thought it was for the best to donate each month instead of a lump now and then. Xo

Titti Lindgren

Backed with €10.00 On Jul 15, 2017

Recurring Donation!

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Loving the name....but love what you do more. Wish I was close enough to do more to help but this is an awesome Idea that I think will be supported by many. I have donated a regular amount as I thought that would be more beneficial in the long run....I have no doubt there will always be a need. xx

Caroline Gotch

Backed with €5.00 On Jul 15, 2017

Recurring Donation!

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Thought it was for the best to donate each month instead of a lump now and then. Xo

Titti Lindgren

Backed with €10.00 On Jun 15, 2017

Recurring Donation!

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Loving the name....but love what you do more. Wish I was close enough to do more to help but this is an awesome Idea that I think will be supported by many. I have donated a regular amount as I thought that would be more beneficial in the long run....I have no doubt there will always be a need. xx

Caroline Gotch

Backed with €5.00 On Jun 15, 2017

Recurring Donation!

photo

Thought it was for the best to donate each month instead of a lump now and then. Xo

Titti Lindgren

Backed with €10.00 On May 15, 2017

Recurring Donation!

photo

Loving the name....but love what you do more. Wish I was close enough to do more to help but this is an awesome Idea that I think will be supported by many. I have donated a regular amount as I thought that would be more beneficial in the long run....I have no doubt there will always be a need. xx

Caroline Gotch

Backed with €5.00 On May 15, 2017

Recurring Donation!

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For your fur babies from ours who have no idea how lucky they are xx

Nikki Hayes

Backed with €20.00 On Apr 25, 2017

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Thought it was for the best to donate each month instead of a lump now and then. Xo

Titti Lindgren

Backed with €10.00 On Apr 15, 2017

Recurring Donation!

photo

Loving the name....but love what you do more. Wish I was close enough to do more to help but this is an awesome Idea that I think will be supported by many. I have donated a regular amount as I thought that would be more beneficial in the long run....I have no doubt there will always be a need. xx

Caroline Gotch

Backed with €5.00 On Apr 15, 2017

Recurring Donation!

photo

Thought it was for the best to donate each month instead of a lump now and then. Xo

Titti Lindgren

Backed with €10.00 On Mar 15, 2017

Recurring Donation!

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Evie Soldatos

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Titti Lindgren

Following Since Dec 02, 2016

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Eliza Burke

Following Since Nov 20, 2016

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Caroline Gotch

Following Since Nov 15, 2016