The five feeding stations in Kini now have QR Codes attached to them with information about which cats are regular visitors.
NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2022
In Greece we say ‘Kalo Meena’ at the beginning of each month, to wish everyone a good month. To me it seems unbelievable that the year is almost gone… Yesterday I arrived back from a trip to the UK, so this morning I didn’t rush. Preferring to keep the snuggly company of several of my cats cuddling on my bed. You can never really tell with cats; they have aloof natures – but I like to think they are pleased to have me back.
My volunteers are up at eight as usual to feed the cats here and those in the village. We’ve had heavy rain in the last few days, so everything looks fresh and green in this morning’s warm sunshine. One of my long-term volunteers just left for a trip back to France to see her family, so we’re a bit short-handed until a substitute arrives next week. I get up in time to cook breakfast for them – porridge, eggs, tomatoes and fresh bread from the shop in the village. It’s nice enough in the sun, so we can still enjoy eating outside.
First task after breakfast is to release a rat that has been caught overnight. We have a no-kill policy here, so I take it for a ride to a place away from houses. I feel sorry for it as it was warm, comfortable and well-fed at our place. But rats are giving us problems by eating through our soft cat boxes and making a big mess. One very stupid rat even went into a cage with a sleeping cat one night. That one didn’t live to tell the tale…
This one is very beautiful, with bright eyes and a glossy coat. It scampers away gratefully in a place where I’ve already released its friends. I think it will find food there.
Next stop is at our nearby farmer. Maria, his wife who serves at a little stall, goes to fetch eggs from her hens, while I choose earthy potatoes, spinach glistening from the rain, natural-looking and a bit mis-shapen carrots – their trailing greens still attached, leeks and some late tomatoes. It’s a pleasure to shop here. I get to practise my Greek a little too, trying to respond to the stream of friendly chatter. Maria sweeps up my bags and takes them to my car. After two weeks of supermarket shopping in the UK, where there are now hardly any staff to help and lines of self-service tills, it’s a pleasure to shop here.
Two of my volunteers are helping a local vet with trapping and neutering every Monday and Tuesday. It’s really important to control the number of kittens born. There are so many cats in Syros that most kittens are unwanted. The ones that find our way to us are the lucky ones! But we can’t cope with more. It costs heavily for medication to nurse them back to health, vaccinations, microchips and passports, to say nothing of the time it takes to socialise feral kittens and find them a loving forever home.
But thanks to help and support from our sponsors and volunteers, we’ve been able to rehome more than twenty cats in the last few months, have funded some major surgeries, many x-rays, blood tests, medication and special food. We’ve recently repaired one of our leaky sheds so it can function as a ‘hospital’, as we have a couple of cats that require daily fluids to support their renal function and others that require daily antibiotic shots to help them fight the infections they acquired from sickness or injury on the streets.
Our summer visitors are long gone now and with the closing of tavernas, the street cats have lost their main source of food. So many more are coming to our feeding stations and to Syros Cats. But at least this gives us an opportunity to sterilise those that have previously escaped us.
This afternoon a couple of friends dropped round to collect two recently sterilised cats for release. We keep the females for a day or so, to make sure they are fully recovered. They have set up a feeding station near their house and are trapping non-neutered cats there. It really helps when others borrow traps and cages from us and sterilise cats in their own areas. The problem is just too big for us to handle…
I made leek and potato soup for supper; from vegetables I bought this morning. It was warming and delicious on a night that turned very chilly. Time for an early night – the cats are already waiting on my bed – they love my electric blanket.
It’s not too late for UK residents to support us by buying a desk calendar, £12.00 to include UK postage. It’s all more complicated this year because of customs issues following Brexit, so EU residents can buy a larger A3 wall calendar through Hanna, who has organised separate printing in Sweden. These have the days and months printed in Swedish. 22 Euros plus postage. If you’d like to buy one or more, send us an email or Facebook message with how many you’d like and delivery details. Payment can be through PayPal email@example.com or our UK or Greek bank accounts – details on our website syroscats.com. If you don’t order the style available according to the delivery address, we take no responsibility for delays in customs!
Do tell us and your cat-loving friends, if you’ve enjoyed this informal newsletter. Tell us about your cats and if you have questions about what we do, we’ll be pleased to answer them. Sometimes we’re a bit slow as we’re busy, so please be patient with us, we have sixty plus mouths to feed and more than twelve kittens! And that doesn’t include the cats all around the village…
Until next time, take care, be nice to a cat near you…
If you are in the area take a look...
We are in the process of making updates and changes to the photos on the website. This work is now very nearly complete.