Dedicated to our dear friend & volunteer – KATIE BUTTON
Many of our readers, friends, supporters and volunteers will know or have read about Katie, who for many years volunteered for GCWS-UK in Spain and the last 5 years here with us. She and her husband Sebastian of 20mths were planning to move out here this year so that Katie would slowly settle in and take control of the reins for GCWS-Rhodes allowing me more time for myself and family, sadly she became ill then suddenly two days later Dec 17th died of meningitis..Seb and the family requested there be no flowers at the funeral, preferring donations be sent to our own cat charity with funds reaching over 1800 euros after her funeral took place January 11th..
Everyone on the volunteer teams plus The Greek Cat Welfare here and the UK will seriously miss her genuinely funny personality & loving nature, most importantly Katie’s sincere love for cats.
Her wedding in Pefkos and cake made especially for her & Seb.
January 2017 started with very cold weather so much so that frost formed daily in the garden, ice on car windscreens, the cat water bowls and buckets even snow covered the highest parts of Rhodes. Fine during the day when the sun came out but when clouds loomed darkly across the sky, temperatures dropped to -5 degrees in some areas, although that may not appear too bad compared to the rest of Europe, here on Rhodes it is definitely abnormal. Strays have been extra hungry as were sheep stalking me in and around feeding areas, they certainly didn’t appear bothered by me chasing them away, doggerdly and determinedly they kept returning to eat cat food and biscuits provided , eventually I succumbed to their sad bleating found an extra tub of biscuits in the car and fed them all.
Starving sheep with baby lambs
Extremely hungry bin cats
GCWS-Rhodes now have twelve volunteer feeders ranging from the far end of the island through to Koskinou 10 mins out of Rhodes Town, all receive a 20kg bag of biscuits once a month and if finances allow a tray of 24 tins of cat meat, this at least gives some cats one meal per week other stray colonies mainly in tourist areas with few residents during winter months receive their food every other day hopefully allowing them all to get through the colder months, surviving this particularly cold wet miserable winter…
Winter feed projects can only be sustained with the help of tourist and supporters donations, for this reason we are extremely grateful and thank everyone that kindly donates…..
At the end of 2016 we received an extra allowance from GCWS-UK for a short neutering program in 2 x areas where trapping had never occurred, Kremasti and Soroni both on the other side of the island close to the airport. Panagioti our local vet in Kremasti agreed to do the neutering with the aid of his vet nurse Maria, plus allow us the invaluable use of his surgery during a religious holiday period making it easier for him to close the clinic whilst working, foregoing his chance to take a well earned rest.
However the cold icy rain, hail and strong winds made it difficult to trap cats which inevitably go to ground during bad weather, never the less after 4 days thankfully 58 cats had been sterilised among them one tail amputation and others treated for some nasty eye and outh injuries. All in all a complicated neutering program with a good outcome.
Cats waiting to be neutered.
Strays being transported
Now to a fantastic piece of good news also coming from Panagioti the vet, he informed us he will be opening another clinic in Kiotari this being only 8mins drive from our base, saving a 2hr long return journey to visit him when an xray or major surgery is required.
At present our nearest vet clinic is a 20 min drive away and although we also use this one for neutering they are not set up for complicated surgery which then makes it an urgent drive on to Panagioti in Kremasti, this will definitely make things far easier for us and locals alike. When this particular clinic opens we have agreed to use a percentage of the donations from Katies friends and family to purchase a memorial garden bench, placed outside with a brass sign in” Memory of our dear friend Katie Button.” She will then be in our hearts and minds, remaining on her beloved island of Rhodes.
More updates and photos on this in the next newsletter.
A reminder to those of you thinking of taking Summer holidays, an Easter break, purchasing new clothes or general grocery shopping please take your time and join for free, nominate us as your favourite charity and we will earn a small percentage from all your shopping. Thank you