My Bastet, Morris and Ziggy were all re homed from Battersea Dogs and Cats home.
I lived and grew up in Skiathos, an island in the Northern Sporades in Greece. I grew up with Skiathos cats as pets, we very luckily had a next door neighbour who was a vet in the UK who would neuter them for us, but I think the word spread and so we were never with less than three at a time.
Greece is synonymous with cats, there are calendars, playing cards, postcards and posters all with pictures of adorable Greek cats and Kittens. It is true – they are the most gorgeous creatures, but what people don’t realize is that when the tourists leave and the hotels, tavernas and bars close these cats have nowhere to go and no one to feed them. Most of these cats are feral and are not neutered therefore increasing the population year on year.
The Skiathos Cat Welfare Society was formed by Sharon Hewing in January 2007, and in August 2011 became a Greek Registered Charity.. Sadly, SCWA is not a 'sanctuary' or 'shelter'. As Skiathos has hundreds of stray cats they could not possibly be placed in one area. The charity helps by stablilizing the Skiathos cat population through its 'catch, neuter & release' programme. Skiathos Cat Welfare Society also spends time and money nursing sick and injured cats back to health and will pay for the costs of vet bills for cats that are found needing veterinary attention.
Above, Flyodetta, when she was picked up and below after she had been cared for by The Skiathos Cat Welfare Association.
Ever since I got my own cats Romeo and Juliet when I was twenty-one, I fell in love with these contrary, independent and loving creatures. To be able to work in an area I loved was a dream come true and so after a number of years running Sitting Kitty and learning a lot along the way about cat behaviour, I decided, in 2008, that I could use these skills to help needy cats, Battersea Dogs and Cats home seemed to be the perfect outlet for this, after going through the interview process, I became a volunteer. I would go into the Cat’s Home for four hours a week to socialise the cats and get them ready for their forever homes.
It was extremely rewarding and at times heart breaking, but it was always a joy to see traumatised and abandoned cats grow into confident and loving animals ready to be seen by the public and find their new home. As Sitting Kitty became busier sadly, I had to make the decision to give up as I couldn’t spare the time required but Sitting Kitty now makes a point of giving a monthly contribution instead.
I found volunteering to be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. I learnt so much about the cats and do feel I have a greater understanding because of my time at Battersea. I would wholeheartedly recommend giving just a few hours of your week to help this incredibly worthy cause.
On an island with literally hundreds of stray and feral cats this is no mean feat and we at Sitting Kitty have the utmost respect for the time, dedication and love that is given to this cause. Having had the good old Skiathos cat as my faithful pets all through my childhood and beyond and now living in London with no means to volunteer my time to this cause, Sitting Kitty have decided to sponsor a cat and donate food and supplies so that this charity can continue to do their fantastic work.