Nine Lives Greece volunteers take care of more than 120 street cats around Plaka-Acropoli every day. Here, they look back at the first half of 2014: the new cats that appeared at the colonies, the neutering programmes, the sad losses and the happy adoptions.
First, the good news: The 3.5-legged boy, a ginger that appeared last summer at Acropoli, has found a home! Despite his one atrophied and shortened limb, he managed not only to survive, but actually to thrive in the busy pedestrian streets around the Acropolis, and made many friends with his outgoing and gregarious personality. Among them, the peanut-seller who brought him special treats from home every day; Vaso, one of our volunteers who works in a shop nearby and takes a walk around the neighbourhood each morning with her dog Iraklis, feeding the strays; and the souvlaki-seller on Makriyianni, where he hung out most days. It was there that a neighbour met and fell in love with 3.5-legged boy, and decided to take him home as company for her own cat. A happy new beginning for him!
Charlie, a skeletal tabby cat, suddenly appeared at Anafiotika when volunteer Lia was feeding. She took him straight to the vet, where he had treatment for his sore mouth and rotten teeth, and a course of antibiotics. He started to put on weight, was neutered, and released. Each day, he looks better.
In January, we started a new neutering programme on two Plaka streets. On one of the streets, almost all the cats were black, making it hard to distinguish which ones still needed to be trapped and neutered (despite their clipped ears), so each time we would trap before releasing the sterilised ones. With the help and patience of our vets, we hope soon to have completed the mission.
On the other street, Makri, we had started neutering two years ago, but unfortunately an elderly resident was against it and obstructed our efforts. Thus, the street filled with sickly cats and kittens again. We are now starting again, but it’s tricky because many cats have already given birth. It’s going to be a long and difficult job.
Over the last six months, we didn’t see many new arrivals (dumped cats) at our Plaka colonies, however, we did lose several beloved friends. Some were old, some were ill, and some simply disappeared without trace, leaving us with a big question mark and a huge hole in our hearts.
Every day, we set out on our feeding round with the same feeling of dread, wondering if all ‘our’ beloved creatures will be there waiting for us.