Στειρώστε και σώστεFebruary 27, 2014
Πρόγραμμα Στειρώσεων Αδέσποτων Γατών στην ΟμόνοιαMarch 30, 2014
There is an ancient Greek myth about Hercules and a huge monster called Lernaia Hydra that had nine heads. When Hercules tried to kill the monster by cutting off one of its heads, two more would pop out of the old one. The Omonia project reminded us of this myth as, in our struggle to trap and neuter one cat, two or more new cats would have appeared in between trappings, adding more suspense to the adventure called Operation Omonia neutering programme.
We launched Operation Omonia in November 2013, with an appeal to you, our kind supporters and friends, for funds to help us get the 200-plus cats in and around the Omonia Square area neutered/spayed. Omonia (and its environs) is the gritty underbelly of Athens: a twilight zone of abandoned buildings, brothels, drug-dealers and poverty-stricken immigrants, trying to survive against all odds. And among them, a huge population of stray cats lurks in the derelict houses, scavenging for scraps in the bins and hunting mice and cockroaches.
Neutering a new colony in Omonia can be sometimes easy as cats have never seen a trap before and they fall for it instantly. But trapping in colonies where half of them have now been neutered is much more difficult as the cats now know that this strange cage is… This is bad news, as it takes much more time to trap them. One location where it is almost impossible to trap more than one cat at a time is on the main road Stadiou, where the poor cats live inside abandoned shops, unsocialised and half-crazy from too much noise caused by the unrelenting traffic, day in, day out. We are trying hard, not only to trap the remaining cats, but also try to relocate or rehome the ones that are more sociable and are starting to come out when our feeders are around, as they have zero quality of life.
Just to make things even more challenging, as you may already know, all of the trapping and rescue at Omonia is only possible late at night, around midnight, and only when our vets are willing to wait for us until late in the night, when we can drive the cats to their practice.
Nevertheless, as of March 10, we have so far managed to trap, neuter and return a total of 91 cats in the four months since Operation Omonia was launched (63 females and 28 males). Add to this the 35 cats that had already been neutered in the months before our programme launched, and this means that 126 of the cats have now been done. And work continues apace to trap and take the remaining cats to the vet so that no new kittens are born on these streets.
Just in the last three weeks alone, we have trapped 34 cats for neutering, we have treated numerous injured and sick animals, have rescued a blind cat and found good homes for several kittens.
Needless to say that none of this would have happened in Omonia without your wholehearted support and encouragement for this difficult but rewarding project. Our most heartfelt thanks to you for your generosity in helping these most vulnerable cats.