This newsletter is a little longer than usual as there appears to be a few more stories to report than normal.
The past two months have been extremely hectic with the April TNR program where we managed to neuter the 2000th cat since we started.
The team were brilliant especially a wonderful new vet Rachel who in normally works with Large animals. It was a complete learning curve having to stand for hours sterilising so many cats day in day out. Emergencies as per usual with sickening car injuries along with two sad cases of poor Lindian cats in dreadful condition with skin peeling away not healing due to FIV infections, plus 3 adult cats with extreme cancerous growths eating their nose or ears away. (Photos area too grim to print)
Seventy percent of the females were heavily pregnant making progress slow. Still worse desperation hit, when with 25 cats waiting in cages, we opened 4 brand new sealed cartons of sutures (sterile thread) and found every single container dried out, thread snapping and impossible to use.
It was a serious situation to find ourselves in especially as we are normally well stocked with everything on hand, this was a dreadful shock and I had to leave everyone to do their best whilst I spent 3 hours driving around the island vets begging for HELP. Local vets unfortunately do not use the same operating system as us, graciously they assisted with as many packets of needles and sutures combined that they could spare.
Eventually with all collected there was enough material to sterilise 50 females, extra suture boxes were ordered desperately hoping all would arrive within a few days.
Everyone battled on, frustratingly we had to keep the trapping down to a certain amount of cats per day, going over that general number meant no guarantee the vet would have enough suture material to neuter them. Thankfully one particular day 60% were males, giving us a days grace.
Three days later and an extra 400 euros paid for 4 new suture packets plus the ones borrowed from the local vets and that left our coffers sadly in the red, however a better than expected 140 cats were neutered.
Well done everyone, with special thanks to Katie our regular trapper/Vet Nurse who very kindly agreed to escort our longest fostered kitten back to Wales where his new owner Lottie lives.
Armand a little cutie, also named the Terror as he kept picking on and bullying the larger cats! How he survived living 5 months with our 9 VERY large cats still beggars belief, but he did and was such an affectionate kitten needing so much attention we never really had time to spoil him, hopefully Lottie will.
Whilst we have managed to arrange Armand’s trip to his new home, kitten season is definitely upon us with calls and emails every day reporting fur balls found in the road or new born babies under bushes without their mothers.
Thankfully we work very closely with Kalithea which in fact is ONLY a feeding area but over the year’s hutches and cat houses have sprung up behind the wired enclosure, this at least alleviates some problems especially if a lactating mother turns up, she then becomes super mum to all she is willing to feed.
One very sad situation occurred recently, after receiving an email regarding a kitten jammed between 2 hotel rooms, the tourist had reported it to management whom she says were not willing to do anything.
As explained to her and MANY others that write in, we are a neutering charity and basically any jurisdiction I have stops at the rubbish bins!
A couple more emails arrived from other charities she had also written to begging me to do something, I had absolutely no idea but was willing to contact the hotel concerned.
Arriving at the hotel I found the reception staff to be extremely helpful explaining for the past 4 days they had been doing their best to entice the kitten out of the dreadful situation it was in. The manager was called and he kindly took me to the area where it had somehow wedged itself, although it could be heard it was impossible to see. A pair of concrete beams each approximately half a metre thick supporting the next floor were inside a tiny maintance room, along with hot water and sewage pipes. The kitten was somewhere above, how it found its way in there was an absolute mystery.
No matter what management tried unfortunately nothing was working , it was a serious problem as they certainly could not drill into any concrete section or it would cause major structural damage plus turning off water would affect 3 floors of bathrooms and possibly still not find the poor kitten.
Staff had strategically placed food along the pipes down to the floor hoping it would somehow find its way out, but whilst I was there the kittens meewing was definitely becoming very weak.
It was heartbreaking for everyone involved but sadly nothing could be done and I doubt if the poor baby had very much time left.
Sadly this was one kitten I could not help.
On a happier note, Rhodes official holiday season started May 1st although we did see tourists much earlier in the year, however our donation pots collected at the end of October are not returned to businesses until they are fully open.
This year we have a few more coloured pots out with Blue in Pefkos, Yellow Lindos, White Kolympia, some beautiful stone cat money boxes in private villas which do exceptionally well and Pink ones are dropped off to first time venues that approach us to try and help with collections.
Hopefully this year will be better than last as we were definitely down financially, either way we are grateful for every euro donated.
Many thanks to those of you who kindly donate through our pay pal account, the link can be found on the front page of our site here and to our wonderful German supporters who kindly sent boxes of kitten food and milk, all extremely appreciated.
More news in August.