June and July have been wonderful months for visiting supporters and volunteers, some I had never met before and others are returning Catophiles, the only word to describe these cat loving, cat caring individuals.
Bearing gifts of worm and flea treatments, medications, kitten food, toys plus delightful hand knitted woollen blankets, these wonderful people promptly assisted in either helping at Kalithea scrubbing out dirty litter trays, cleaning water bowls, feeding poorly kittens orally or trapping sick and injured cats of their own volition borrowing our traps and cages.
Brilliant people, only wish they were here all year round.
These and more couples are now putting their names forward volunteering for our TNR programs, gratefully offering to pay their own flights or accommodation.
If only there were more people like these actually living on the island, it would make it so much easier, definitely less stressful but with Brexit looming expats living here are also unsure what will happen to their lives, including us as a UK charity. Will we still be able to continue to operate the neutering programs?
Hopefully within the next year we will have clarity, a clearer view of what will happen and eventually peace of mind… Fingers crossed.
Our Summer season started not only with the usual 5 – 8 daily messages and emails of kittens found in the middle of the road, kittens with no mums, infected eyes, broken limbs, dead bodies and so on but the hot weather came with such force it was 30 degrees at 3am rising to 48 during the day. Not at all pleasant, especially driving around the island looking for sick or injured cats.
It was so stifling taking a cat/kitten home in the car for fostering whilst awaiting flights to Germany, two or more stops had to be made to cool the poor creature down, not even the air con could keep pace with the heat.
Writing of fostering kittens, in June & July we managed to assist Flying Cats and Kalithea Cats to send 35 kittens and one mother cat to Germany for adoption and their Forever homes. Bravo everyone concerned.
This season has actually been worse than any other regarding injuries and to put not too fine a position on it, a great deal of donation money received has gone on vet bills.
Over the past 4 years the problem has been steadily growing and as much as I representing GCWS-Rhodes explain, clarify and reiterate we are ONLY a neutering & winter feeding charity, tourists just cannot comprehend not every call, email and F/B message to go looking for a kitten without its mum is possible. However I always endeavour to get to emergencies and serious cat injuries within reason or distance, if not try my utmost to find someone in the immediate area.
When viewing the photos below, many will understand WHY my heart over rules my head to do my damnedest to find and relieve these poor cats of their pain and suffering.
Many of these cats had been living this way for more than a few months and to be extremely honest I am amazed they managed to survive, those with noses eaten away by cancer, ears with golf ball size growths, blind cats in areas where no one visits until summer, how they have coped is actually unbelievable.
We have in the past 4 months come across 4 cats with their skin peeling off leaving gaping wounds, how and why we still have no idea. Some locals have said they believed the cats had leant against a hot scooter/motor bike engine, others like myself believe there is someone throwing boiling water or hot fat over the cats, it has even been suggested that some barbaric monster is spraying them with acid or lighter fluid, either way these dreadful injuries need to be treated, that takes money and has a huge impact on our coffers.
My main reason bringing this situation to the fore is so that friends and supporters alike understand where their money is going, it is NOT intended to shock or upset anyone as I believe that could possibly have the opposite affect, perhaps turning readers away from our newsletters but it needs to be reported.
With sorrow in my heart and a very strong WARNING, please be aware these photos can be harrowing and if you are squeamish DO NOT scroll any further.
Before finishing this longer than usual newsletter, let me express HUGE and sincere thanks to those of you who support us in every way possible whether its food parcels, cash donations or items for auction – all gratefully received.
These are but a few of the many cats rescued……Thank you for understanding….
From your friendly web designer, these images were very difficult to look at, but thank you for all that you do to help Andrea.