Stray Cats in Crete

Are you here because you love animals too? As I type this, Dora-dog is snoring in bed, and Nancy the kitten is sprawled out, fast asleep on my lap. It’s making it very awkward to type! If you want to skip straight to the donation-part, then just scroll to the bottom of the page. All the info you need to donate some money to the stray cats of Crete is there.

We love animals, and if you’re anything like us, then holidays in Greece usually involve stray cats. We always end up buying cat food and there’s invariably a particularly lovely cat that gets an affectionate name…there was ‘Angel’ in Corfu, and ‘Truly’ in Kefalonia, to name just a few.

The stray cats at Arkadi Monastery…

We always discreetly feed the stray cats under the table, much to the annoyance of the other diners at the tavernas. It’s upsetting to see some of them battling diseases and illness.

Our local fishing village has numerous cat cafes! What a great idea…

Since arriving in Crete, we’ve been wanting to try and help the local stray cats. What with Mr Sidestepping-normal’s background in veterinary, and our large workshop where we can rehabilitate and care for the cats, we have a recipe for success. It feels fantastic to have so much time on our hands to help the causes close to our hearts.

Our first experience of caring for stray cats in Crete…

Our first experience of caring for stray cats in Crete was brief and sad. Not long after arriving we took in a tiny kitten, just a few weeks old. He was found by some tourists who noticed him wandering around on his own. The tourists passed him onto our Greek friend, who called to see if we could help. We eagerly took him in, and began to care for him. He was very tiny and fragile, and he tottered about on unsteady feet whilst mewing for his mother. We tried to comfort him by swaddling him in fluffy blankets. We snuggled him beneath our jumpers so that he could take comfort from hearing our heartbeat, and we gave him a cuddly toy to keep him company.

It was hard to keep up with the small regular feeds he needed, we felt like new parents as we warmed his milk in a bottle and encouraged him to suckle. We attentively monitored him, searching for signs of progress. Although he was eating, his constant searching and mewing for his mother was upsetting, and his balance wasn’t improving either. There were fleeting moments when he playfully grabbed at our finger, or followed Dora-dog around, but for the most part, he was struggling. We became really worried when he got dyhorea, and that’s when Mr Sidestepping-normal stepped it up a gear.

“That’s when Mr Sidestepping-normal stepped it up a gear.”

Mr Sidestepping-normal caring for Jasper.

He set his alarm for every two hours throughout the night, and he forced rehydration fluids and food into him, it was crucial, the situation was getting serious. I’ve never seen my husband so focused, he was fighting for this kitten, willing him to pull through. For two gruelling days and nights we did everything we could. By the third day, despite the food and rehydration fluids, the poor little thing had a seizure and we realised that we were battling more than meets the eye. As we scooped him up to head to the vets, he began to have another seizure, and before we could gather our thoughts, he passed away. Mr Sidestepping-Normal looked exhausted and defeated. He wanted to protect me from the pain of losing our first stray kitten, and despite his weariness, he was ready to hold me as I cried.

We buried Jasper under the orange tree, and this neutering scheme is in memory of him. He was our first stray kitten, and he taught us the hard way.

Jaspers Account…

Beautiful Jasper…

In memory of Jasper, my mum (Karen Brown) has opened a bank account specifically to raise money for neutering the stray cats in our area. We have decided to focus our efforts on neutering, as this is the root of the problem. By neutering as many cats as possible, we are reducing the amount of kittens that are born. As it stands, a single female can give birth to multiple litters per year, and each of those kittens will start reproducing before long too.

It’s a huge problem, and it’s exponentially spiralling out of control. Not only does every kitten face a life of scavenging for food and water, many of them are also riddled with fleas and worms, alongside diseases and infections. Don’t get me wrong, some of them are living a fantastic life. There are the lucky ones that have sussed it all out. They laze in the summer sun, their tummies full, whilst tourists take pictures of them. Some of them have even become fussy because they are fed so much; they turn their noses up at anything that isn’t fresh fish or souvlaki.

One of the lucky stray cats…he’s got the tourists wrapped round his paw!

What can you do to help?

For most of the stray cats here, it’s a life full of struggles. This is where you come in. We are calling on anyone who would like to donate to our cause of neutering stray cats. All of the money will go towards the cost of veterinary fees, plus the necessary items to rehabilitate them afterwards, such as food and cat litter. We have made a pact to neuter at least one cat per month, which we hope is achievable with the money we can raise, combined with money from our own pocket.

If you would like to donate then you can…

  • Transfer money to Jaspers account (UK bank): Name: Karen Brown Account number: 71599887 Sort code: 40 -15 -16
  • Send some money to Jaspers account via PayPal: Name: Karen Brown Email: sidesteppingnormal@gmail.com

Please feel free to email us explaining why you made the donation as we would love to thank you personally.

THANK YOU SO MUCH😊