February was a very wet month as was most of the winter, Rhodes was flooded on many an occasion with call outs to some very sick cats and kittens, sadly many euthanised. It was also a busy month arranging and organising the vet and volunteers arrival, from moving cages, traps, bags of sheets and towels, loads of cleaning items and naturally the amount of drugs we always require have to be shipped from one end of the island to the other in more than 6 x journeys using my poor, scratched, beaten up car.
(Van desperately needed )
This time due to unforeseen circumstances, we ended up working in 3 different areas making it a logistical nightmare packing and unpacking plus setting up, losing precious neutering time, however the Team were brilliant and we managed to sterilise 56 cats in Rhodes Town over 2 days, Lindos 88 of which 90% were pregnant making it extremely slow going for the poor vet.
We also managed to squeeze 2 days in Asklipio sterilising 67 cats, in total over the nine days 211 plus 5 eye operations.
It was a long drawn out back breaking TNR program, I cannot praise these wonderful volunteers enough but sincerely thank them from the bottom of my heart with this particular team coming back in 18 months time.
Well done everyone concerned.
Areas in Lindos where the poor trappers had to go were in some cases extreme, no cars could get there which meant they lugged heavy wooden traps up to the colony, then went back for metal cages and had to carry heavily pregnant females and huge Tom cats back down to where the car was parked. Once the operations were over, they had to repeat the journey to return the cats.
They truly all deserve a medal.
Tom the vet worked tirelessly hour after hour on many pregnant cats, James assisted with the males but there didn’t appear to be that many around in Lindos, they obviously heard we were there and went to ground. It was the opposite in Asklipio, the first 20 trapped were all males !!!!! It wasn’t long before the pregnant females appeared but at least it gave Tom a break.
Not only did Tom neuter he did some wonderful surgery on cats with debilitating eye diseases whereupon he had to remove the eye itself, beautiful work under non clinical circumstances.
( All the cats have recuperated and are doing well )
Having worked in Lindos 3 times over the past 3 years, we are definitely noticing a difference in the health of the cats a few years ago it was horrendous, sick and injured cats and kittens everywhere with no thanks to the locals who deliberately made it very difficult to catch them. They would hinder the trappers, spit at them, drag cats out of traps and in general do their best to stop the neutering, however this time around they were amazingly welcoming offering free accommodation, a work area, even taking the trappers to cat colonies, homemade cakes offered , generally kind comments made whenever the locals noticed the team around town, even putting on a Thank you BBQ…….
The number of Lindos cats now sterilised is over 300 with locals and tourists beginning to notice the difference.. Thank goodness
Its not quite time to switch off and store everything away until our next TNR program in October, as Pylona village locals have offered to fund raise to bring a vet over for one week in May.
It will be a little hectic but if we can stick to our numbers of minimum 20 neutered per day, we could manage another 80-100 in and around the area.
Trapping there myself when money has been available to have them neutered by local vets, 58 have been sterilised and I know it will help them drastically to stop the never ending cycle of kittens.
( More news on that in the June edition. )
With Easter very close I would like to remind our friends and supporters, you can help us fund raise by shopping at www.easyfundraising.org.uk from regular grocery shopping, holidays,toys, clothes they cover a huge array of products and companies with a percentage being returned to us on a quarterly basis. Its never a huge amount but it still helps our coffers.
Thank you to ALL of our terrific friends and supporters, from the cats of Rhodes we wish you a wonderful, peaceful Easter.