Aliki, a Lady cat from the streets of AthensJanuary 5, 2020
Street cat care during Covid-19 lockdownApril 4, 2020
Nine Lives Greece
In this blog post I will write about my experience with Nine Lives Greece. I tagged along with volunteer Maria on her feeding round near the Acropolis, right in the heart of Athens. Also, I will write about adopting my kitten Ollie who flew home with me!
On the website of Nine Lives Greece, you can find all the information if you like to read about who they are, what they do and the different options how you can help them with caring for the stray cats of Athens, Greece.
Have a look please www.ninelivesgreece.com
Feeding the strays
This is a year-round, 365 days of the year job and the volunteers of Nine Lives Greece take this job very seriously. They know every single cat that belongs to “their” colonies spread over the city of Athens. They give names to the cats so that they can keep an eye on them and discuss any abnormalities with each other and take action if needed. As Nine Lives is a non-profit organisation, all expenses need to be paid for by donations and the help of volunteers. It takes about 900 euros per month just to feed their colonies, excluding the TNR (Trap Neuter and Return) of cats and medical bills.
The best way to show you how it was to join Maria on her feeding round is via this video that I made:
What do you think? Up for joining a volunteer next time you are in Athens? The cats would love your attention and your help to spread the word/raise awareness of the stray cats in Greece because it is still a big problem that, sadly, the government is yet to help with. There are no cat shelters and the cat population keeps expanding in Greece while nonprofit organizations do what they can with as little resources and man power they have. So that said, any help would be much appreciated!
Adopting via Nine Lives Greece
One way to help is to adopt one (or more) of the beautiful Greek kitties that need a second chance so badly. As I said before, there are no cat shelters in Athens so either cats live on the streets and try to deal with all the issues and dangers involved or they are lucky enough to be adopted or have a temporary foster home until they find their furrever home.
Often, I get the question what the procedure is and what the costs involved are, if the cats are stressed while flying, how it goes at home etc. I will answer these questions and what you need to prepare to fly a Greek cat home with you. In my experience, I only know the details from flying within Europe, but Nine Lives can advise you if you live outside of the EU.
The assumption is that it’s very costly and time consuming to adopt a cat from Greece. Luckily this is where Nine Lives comes in with their knowledge, expertise and dedicated volunteers that know what to do (& when), what the cat needs to be able to fly, which carrier it needs, etc.
STEPS & COSTS ADOPTING FROM NINE LIVES GREECE:
1. When you see a cat (or a couple of cats!) that you would love to adopt, contact Nine Lives via their website, Facebook or Instagram. They will chat with you about your home and family situation, and if there is a match.
2. If it’s a yes from both sides: the process can start where Nine Lives will prepare the adoption from start to bringing them home. You will sign a binding adoption contract with clauses about taking good care of your cat and keeping Nine Lives informed and updated throughout the cat’s lifespan.
GOOD TO KNOW: The cat(s) will get a health check + parasite treatment right before flying, and minimum 21 days before travel they will be vaccinated including rabies, plus they get a microchip, in line with EU Pet Passport legislation. The cat will travel with the pet passport where all the information is documented that the airline needs to see when checking in. Again, don’t worry, a volunteer or Yota from Nine Lives will be there to guide you during this whole process.
COSTS: Per cat 50 euro for the EU pet passport including pre-travel health check, vaccinations, chip and anti-parasite treatment. If the cats are old enough (older than 6 months) they also will be neutered. If not, you need to do this at your own vet (your own expense). Plus, last but not least: a good carrier for the flight. They are around 20 euros depending on size but I only think it’s fair to pay for this as you will have a decent carrier for your cat(s) at home.
THE FLIGHT: will usually cost 90-100 euros to fly in hold (a special section of the plane where they keep the live animals). If possible, you can take a cat (or two sibling kittens) in the cabin (this is 50 euros), though unfortunately there are few spaces per flight for in-cabin pets. My experience was with Aegean airlines; prices vary slightly depending on the airline and season. While boarding the plane, I made sure they knew there were cats on board (I asked the flight attendant to tell the captain but she replied that they already knew they were on board. But please always make them aware!)
TOTAL COSTS: around 140 euro within the EU. If you adopt a couple (2 kittens for example, they can usually travel in the same carrier so that you only pay 1x 90 euros) – feel free to check with Nine Lives if you have more questions concerning the costs.
3.Once you have your furry friend(s) home with you, there is just one more thing to think about and that is to register the microchip with a databank of your own country. Do this immediately so that you will not forget this!
For The Netherlands, I registered with the Backhome Club and it only costs a few euros to register online. Make sure to keep up to date with the anti-parasite treatments and the yearly vaccinations (and in case your cat is not neutered yet, make sure to set an appointment with your vet for when your cat is around 5-6 months old).
4. Let the cat(s) settle in and remember that some cats need more time than others. Give them their own room/space for the first week or so and once very comfortable with you and the space, open the door and let him/her explore more of the house. For more tips / information about this and what the cats need, visit the ‘Bringing your cat home’ page of the website of Nine Lives where they write more about this too.
5.Nine Lives Greece keeps in touch about the cat(s) and how it’s going. They love to hear from “their” furrbabies and share on Social Media so that more people are aware of this possibility and hopefully the more cats can have a second chance in life. And they are always helpful with advice if needed. Feel free to send me your questions on Instagram www.instagram.com/nathalieclaessen or my business account www.instagram.com/crazycats.petservice
MY HAPPY FURRY FAMILY
For me adopting little Ollie from Nine Lives was THE best decision I could have made as he is so adorable & best friends with my other cat Pip. He fits in so well in our family; if you want to see him in action, check my Instagram – you won’t regret it, I promise. THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING!
Lots of love,