Athens is a city of history and architectural wonders, receiving thousands of visitors each year. But there are parts of the city not proudly displayed on guided tours. During the last five years, areas of central Athens have become steadily more rundown and insalubrious, particularly at Omonia Square and its surrounding streets. At night, poor human creatures roam the dirty streets living their own personal nightmare of a life, and amongst them more than 200 cats are trying to survive in the most difficult and dangerous conditions.
Ioanna, a dedicated Nine Lives volunteer, has been taking care of Omonia’s feline residents by heading out in the dead of night when the cats – and Omonia’s shadier residents – emerge, feeding daily and neutering as much as possible. Due to the lack of volunteers in the area with a car, time and courage to enter into this “war zone” under the cover of night, it has been difficult to keep up with the number of cats needing to be neutered so that their population can be controlled, allowing us to provide a better level of care.
On a trip to Athens this summer, Ondrej and Marketa, generous Nine Lives supporters and adoptive parents of Odysseus the cat, learned about the situation at Omonia and offered to help. They offered to match up to €1,000 in donations received so that we can neuter as many cats as possible! That meant that, for donations of €30, the cost to neuter a single cat, 2 cats would be neutered! Gifts of €60 would help 4 cats, and so on!
We launched the Match your Gift fundraising campaign on November 6 via email, our website and Facebook page, and have been overwhelmed by the generous response from you, our supporters, who immediately and openheartedly donated to help us once again in our mission to provide a better quality of life to the most disadvantaged street cats of Athens.
Please read the update from Evgenia, one of our Nine Lives board members who is actively helping Ioanna with trapping the cats at Omonia – to see what your generous support is already achieving!