At long last we are seeing some warmer weather, it has been an extremely wet, windy and bitterly cold -2 -5 winter in fact the locals have told us the coldest in 80years !!!
Snow hit the mainland along with Turkey which always affects the island, we were probably very fortunate as it didnt come any further than Archangelos but what did fall was deep and took ages to melt.
Unfortunately due to the cold we had to cease neutering, the cats would never survive out in minus degrees after their operations.
Our winter feeding program continued along with handing out extra 20kg bags of biscuits to other feeders on the island. We also raised the amount of meat and biscuits being fed to the strays as they were so hungry and we were very grateful for those supporters who sent/ donated extra funds to assist.
Unfortunately we not only had cats to feed, but a few thieves saw easy pickings…
As many of you would know Sir Kitler the Pefkos icon was adopted by GCWS many years ago, being so famous and beloved by many tourists he was left to roam until last year at the age of 16 when we were contacted to collect him due to the large abscess on his face. A year on after a couple of attempted break outs, he has settled down his skin and fur have improved no end and although he only has one tooth left, he loves his food… Kitler is extremely spoilt with run of the house plus his own bedroom, a choice of 3 x soft cat beds but can be a bit grumpy with the other cats, however for the first time he has realised there is still enough life in him to play ball, just as long as his rheumatism doesn’t get the better of him..
Before Christmas I was personally contacted by the Rhodes Municipality animal ( Agricultural ) dept regarding sterilising cats, thinking this could be a great opportunity to work with the govt, discussions were held.
First meeting went fairly well, they confirmed GCWS was to carry on with the TNR programs however one problem I could see arising was when they insisted on telling us where to trap… Explaining some of the areas suggested were hours away from our base and would be time consuming and financially not viable plus cause distress to the cats, however there might be a chance to speak with a few other cat lovers living in those vicinities for assistance..
Leaving after an hours discussion, not feeling particularly positive,
After Christmas the second meeting went downhill very quickly..
Fifteen minutes into the conversation, realisation hit they did NOT have any funds leaving GCWS to raise extra money ( as if it wasn’t difficult enough ) also there was to be NO assistance with volunteer accommodation or food, NO car rental or petrol ???? Enquiring WHAT could they assist with?? Sheepishly they admitted nothing !!!
Totally deflated, feeling very disappointed with absolutely no agreement on any kind of help, I departed the meeting knowing full well GCWS would have to carry on neutering as we have for the past 10yrs without any form of assistance from the Municipality and their list of callers with cat problems would grow much longer…
Our wonderful TNR team arrived and kicked off mid Feb hoping to neuter our 5000th cat.
Blustery winds and days of heavy rain kept the cats at bay, hiding in derelict buildings, under bins & cars, not even the smell of mackerel bought them out. Everyone persevered trapping at 6am until dark, cats were bought in with nasty wounds, leg injuries, cancerous ears, some were so emaciated they didn’t even pass the initial check up. Respiratory problems due to the wet winter, skin lesions and one little boy born with no eyes being looked after by a local which lifted our hearts at such kindness.
Another kind gesture was the amount of cakes dropped off by local ladies, it was lovely to think they actually appreciated everything we were doing after all the years we have been here.
Two days before TNR finished this BIG ginger boy who had been evading the trappers was so hungry he could not resist the temptations left for him, he walked into the trap and became the 5000th cat to be sterilised , unfortunately we also had to shave areas of matted fur away to make him more comfortable on release,
On that fantastic note we wish to thank our wonderful supporters for their kind donations , everything helps no matter how small.
Until our June newsletter, have a puuurrfect Spring..