Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stray Cat Strut


The stray cat population around Giardini Naxos is rampant, and heartbreaking. I am starting to become one of those mad catwomen, wandering around the streets with a packet of biscuits, a fork and fresh milk looking for suitable victims in need of my love and attention.

On the street where I live, there is a family of mum and three small kittens. Beautful gray and white bundles of long fur, I have become quite attached although my fears of them living next to the road were realised when one got run over last week. Mum has now moved them back into a garden, but this has hampered her professional begging operation to passers-by, with three small kitten faces pressed to the fence behind her, an empty plate and a loud cry.

This family are quite well fed and I am sure it is not only me that is feeding them. Plates filled with pasta are regualry left on the pavement near to where they live. What is more difficult to deal with are the injured, starving and infected ones. You don't know where to start, as you cannot treat them all. There is no neutering programme, local vets apparently believe that they should have at least one litter first although whether this is for medical or religious reasons remains unclear.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered a cat living under a bush that is in a poor state. One eye has gone and the other is very infected and he may have 5% vision left in it. I cannot tell if he is old or young, but he is very loving. He cannot walk even up the steps to me without falling over the rubbish that is left there and I doubt he can survive on the streets for long. Now he has learnt to recognise my voice and I can almost touch him if my hand has food in it. I leave on Saturday, and am thinking of stealing him away to come back with me to Rome. We have an apartment there and no garden, but this is a cat that should live inside, or maybe pottering into the terrace away from stray dogs and traffic. However I don't think a week is long enough to gain his confidence to catch him.

Then again this morning he turned his nose up at best Sheba Tuna with Rice Premium, obviously not his flaour, so maybe he is doing ok after all.

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