Half way through the tourist season and what a dreadful start it has been, with every charity on the island complaining.
Emails, phone calls, face book messages non-stop bombardment regarding sick cats, dying or dead kittens plus a call regarding an Owl with a broken wing along with turtles laying eggs on Pefkos beach (unseen for over 20 years )!
Injured creatures round every corner, however after far too much time and finances wasted they are neither dead nor dying but resting in the 45 degree heat. Admittedly in some cases kittens possibly needed eye treatment, certainly not a life or death situation they would all definitely survive with or without our help.
It is extremely frustrating when we receive these silly exaggerated calls, messages and not only do they send them to us but to every other charity on the island, along with GAWF and our own GCWS UK office.
Thankfully the charities here are in constant contact forever desperately attempting to sort things out, however it becomes very annoying when we have to call one another daily to see if anyone had received the same message.
Opening the computer which I now dread, I received 9 emails and 2 Facebook messages, one particular message had been sent to us via 3 different sites regarding 6 kittens that were going blind. On my arrival at this particular hotel the lively fluff balls were with their mother who was taking great care of them. Their eyes were a little red which I medicated and the person who had been feeding them came to meet me and explained what she had been doing, which was great. She mentioned she was – wait for it – a Doctor !
After discussing the treatment, agreeing it was correct and would work well I asked why she had sent so many messages, her reply “I just wanted you to know where they were”, but why tell me they were going blind, I asked ? “ Oh! just to get you here”. I rest my case.
Naturally there have been genuine calls, cats having huge cancers on their ears, car accidents with poor injured animals being euthanised also kittens where kind tourists had used their nous, thankfully taking them to the local vets. Again a genuinely kind idea, but when they depart the island WHO is going to take care of them and WHERE do they go after their treatment?
People do not understand, they must go back on the streets, unless that person is prepared to adopt and take them home.
As of this newsletter, I have 2 kittens with serious eye problems, 1 extremely sick kitten requiring constant medication and one that a tourist decided to keep in an hotel room until management found out, by then the poor thing had been fed regularly, loved human company and naturally could not be put back on the street, the last 2 are tiny 3 wk old babies found on a main road.
Two kittens being fostered waiting to go to Germany, plus another poor mite a lovely lady found washed up on the shore, tied up in a plastic bag, placed in a box and thrown out to sea with its two siblings, this little boy survived and needs lots of TLC, then of course my own 8 cats which feel totally neglected. (Sadly little boy found in the plastic bag, died)
On a pleasant note (we all like to receive these, to keep us going) some great compliments and pleasant emails:
Maria ( Greek )
Hi Andrea, I just want to say you are fantastic. We fully understand how hard it is, Heidi also is doing a fantastic job. We have been impressed with how well the cats have looked at Lindos. So many looking well cared for and neutered. It’s heartening to see. You are doing such vital work. We will help all we can. Sending you amazing people much love. Xxx
Mary UK ( RSPCA volunteer)
Oh you must give yourself a pat on the back. You are all amazing. I have seen the results myself! That is an incredible amount. There will always be lots to do, there is here too. It’s never ending. Our cattery is just filling up again now. It’s always so sad. But we ARE making a difference. You should be incredibly proud!
Ute ( Germany )
hallo Andrea, i have to tell you it is SO amazing how many of the cats we met are neutered!! we just talked about it today what difference we can See to our last visits here. it is so fantastic what you are doing!! we are absolutely impressed, specially we noticed in Lindos Area today it is so heart moving. thanks for the big difference you make!! I thought you could use a little feedback of success, it was really impressing to See so many cut ears although there were some with poorly eyes… keep on this fantastic work! we go direction skiadi and Kap fourni today, i am afraid we are not sure to come to kalithea again. but lets See, tomorrow is last day with car. have a nice day
Scott ( UK )
Hello, I returned from a week in Rhodes on Wednesday and whilst we stayed there we fell in love with a beautiful cat who hung around our villa, she was very much a wild cat but in great condition and certainly looked like she could fend for herself. I found your website whilst reading about wild cats in Greece and I have to say I am blown away with the work that you are doing. People are quick to contact people when they have a complaint or are unhappy with a service but I just wanted to send you an email to congratulate on the work you seem to be doing and I will look into a number of ways I can raise some money for the work you are going. It is great to see the very caring work you are doing. Kind regards, Scott Cavagan
This season we also seem to be in contact with friends and supporters that we have never met, perhaps chatted with on Facebook or through emails. Albert Cook and his delightful partner Simon, Ute and Sandra from Germany, Claudine a vet nurse who is interested in assisting with our TNR program and Carolyn from GCWS-UK who came out on a private trip but managed without complaint, daily being dragged around the island checking out the many cats we have neutered, along with areas we have not touched as yet.
There were other supporters which a cuppa became impossible to coordinate, however I know they will be back and next time I shall endeavour to meet with them all. Thank you to everyone that made contact.
Now to the GREEK CRISIS which many of you have been worried and enquired about.
As I write this the vote has been a resounding NO from the Greek nation, in the next 2 days final decisions will be made whether we are in or out?
Rhodes and many of the larger tourist islands have suffered far less, certainly nothing like Athens and the mainland where at this moment in time there is petrol and food rationing along with a 60 euro per day bank account withdrawal. Information received tells us there is very little animal food available on the mainland, thankfully we were lucky enough to receive a delivery of meat, biscuits and blankets from our UK supporters 2 weeks before the voting took place.
It had been a long two years since our last delivery due apparently to problems arranging transport, sincere gratitude to everyone as it is here now and will hopefully last until end of August, then if the wholesalers have cash to pay the shipping companies to bring in orders we can make ready for the winter feeding program.
It is said good things come in threes. Not only did our food delivery arrive we also received a wonderful gift of a much needed sterilising unit and medical items donated by Julia Driver and her husband, if that was an early Christmas present a delightful Finish couple on holiday who were so impressed with out TNR program and the cat feeding stations, they visited our local vet and left 250 euros in a donation pot making that the icing on the cake.
Before the newsletter is sent off an agreement has been reached by the government, good or bad whichever way the Greeks look at it, they now MUST start the economy moving again so that everyone can get their daily lives back in order.
SADLY ! The letter below is from the Mayor of Rhodes, informing us that Kalithea cat sanctuary will be demolished.
It is a shocking and outrageous decision, having been there for close to 10years, the cats have a safe haven to eat and be protected over the winter months, apart from being a tourist attraction many kittens are adopted and find their forever homes. We are all in shock!
Dear Ms Dampier,
First and foremost I would like to thank you for your letter, as well as to congratulate the Greek Cat Welfare Society Rhodes, and the other animal protection associations that operate in the island of Rhodes for their efforts in the protection of stray animals.
I would like to inform you that the protection of stray animals and the safeguard of public health are among our priorities.
The Municipality of Rhodes, in cooperation with veterinarians, as well as with local and international animal protection associations, and volunteers is trying to promote a systematic, comprehensive and effective way in the protection of stray animals, including their collection, vaccination and parasite control. In addition, we are trying to raise public awareness on the issue.
Regarding the issue that you have raised in your letter, I would like to inform you that the Ministry of Culture, as well as the Ephorate of Antiquities of Dodecanese has decided that the shelter currently operating in Kalithea needs to be removed. To this end the Municipality of Rhodes is currently examining the prospect to develop a new permanent facility in the Tsairi area in order to continue helping the stray animal population of our area, by providing them a safe environment until they can be re-homed.
In order for our efforts to be better organized, effective and successful we need to join forces and we consider opinions like yours of great importance for us.
The Mayor of Rhodes Fotis CHATZIDIAKOS
HELLENIC REPUBLIC MUNICIPALITY OF RHODES OFFICE OF THE MAYOR info : STERGIOU tel. (+30)2241361384 / fax (+30)2241046323 email. : firstname.lastname@example.org site : www.rhodes.gr Sq. Eleftherias 1, P.O. GR 851 00 RHODES
Finally remember that in this heat all that cats and humans want to do is sleepCat Quote: Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many different ailments, but I have never heard of one who suffered from insomnia.