Rhodos cats

Before we even went to Rhodos, I knew we’d be seeing a lot of stray cats. As a cat lover, my cat radar is always active and naturally I noticed the street cats everywhere we went. Every town had them. What struck me is that I never really saw stray dogs even though I was told that they would be there as well. It was all about the stray cats on Rhodos for us. Some didn’t look great, many had scratched noses or other scars, but there were also cats that looked alright and seemed to be fed. From the start, my camera was pointed towards the cats we came across.

The first cats we noticed were the cats living opposite our hotel. There were about 6 to 8 cats there. There was food for them and water and there was one mum with her baby. The baby cat loved a cuddle, mum cat appreciated strokes as well…

We saw a lot of cats on Rhodos. There were black and white cats…

… and ginger (and white) cats…

… and black cats…

… and white cats…

… and white with other colours cats…

… and several more cats of other colours…

We had several personal encounters with cats. In Rhodos city, my daughter approached a mum and kittens. The mum wasn’t too keen on being touched, but especially the one kitten really wanted contact and proceeded to weave around my daughter’s legs…

Mr Esther, my daughter and I were at a Rhodos city park one afternoon and came across a mum and her kittens. They looked well and there was food and water for them. The kittens were keen on cuddling, one even spontaneously climbed into my daughter’s lap and tried to play with her earphones…

At one of the monasteries we went to, we came across a well-looking cat who was very eager to be touched, she followed us around everywhere…

I was curious to find out whether there were any charities on Rhodos that looked after the cats. I found one charity called ‘Kalithea Cats’. They operate locally in the town of Kalithea, and are mostly a charity that feeds and cares for local cats that come to them. People know to find them and regularly, when they arrive at the shelter in the mornings, they’ll find cats and kittens that have been left outside the enclosure. Cats are also brought to them from all over the island. My daughter and I were very curious to see this shelter, so we made a point of visiting it one morning, bringing some cat food with us to donate to them. The shelter is situated in a shady spot right outside Kalithea’s main tourist attraction, the Kalithea springs. As we approached, we saw cats lying around outside the enclosure (which is only used for cats that need special care)…

The enclosure is not so large…

… and the volunteers told us about their work, while also going about their business. The two main people seemed to be the English lady who also answers messages on their Facebook page (and replied to my request to come and vist) and a German lady. They both have been living on Rhodos for quite a few years.

Kali-cat (7)

In the summer they care for a lot of kittens, either without mums or where mums and/or kittens are ill. In the fall, at the end of tourist season when hotels and resorts close in neighbouring tourist hotspot Faliraki, many cats come to the shelter for food. They care for sick animals (there are regular disease outbreaks and eye diseases are quite common) and they care for animals that have been abused. They also try to have as many cats neutered as possible. Occasionally cats get adopted, sometimes even internationally, but they don’t have the resources to organize international adoption. They will allow cats to go if people can arrange all formalities themselves, but arranging all that takes some time. Some cats are also adopted to Germany through an organization called ‘Flying Cats’ who comes to collect some adoptable cats twice a year.

We helped out a bit with feeding the cats. I stood guard over the food of one spooked cat (who had been abused in the past and had a scrappy, half tail because it had been set on fire once) so that she could eat in peace without fear of her food being eaten by others. Spooky cat had been gone for a long time, the staff had feared she had died, and she’d only resurfaced recently so they were determined to have her eat as well as possible. My daughter alerted one of the volunteers to a wound in one of the cat’s neck. Not a deep wound, but it did need a little attention. And there was also time for cuddling the cats and giving them a little attention…

When we left again, we promised to donate some money (mentioning Kalithea cats in the donation) to help them buy food and other necessities for the cats…

Kali-cat

So, for #InternationalCatDay I made my donation…

I always knew I loved cats but now I have the suspicion that it could easily turn into something more, that one day I may turn into an old cat-lady caring for tons of cats myself…

8 thoughts on “Rhodos cats

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post, Esther! I love your photo album of Rhodian cats, and the story of the cat sanctuary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. well, if it involved retiring on Rhodos? ­čÖé

    Like

  3. Wow, so many cats!

    Like

  4. Uns ging es in Italien genauso. Ich war immer entsetzt wie viele Stra├čenkatzen es dort gibt ­čśŽ Sie werden leider nicht kastriert, viele haben Junge und sind krank und unterern├Ąhrt. Auf Sardinien gibt es auch eine Organisation die sich k├╝mmert, ich glaube um ├╝ber 100 Tiere, allein in dem Dorf, das hilft aber nicht viel. Ich weiss auch dass die Sarden das Problem damit l├Âsen dass Giftk├Âder ausgelegt werden. In Rom hatten wie auch bei der Ferienwohnung eine ganze Katzenfamilie, nat├╝rlich haben wir Futter gekauft, das Ungl├╝ck war schlie├člich schon passiert und die Katzen k├Ânnen nichts daf├╝r dass sie dort geboren sind. Ich w├╝rde am liebsten immer alle mit nach Hause nehmen, aber bei uns gibt es die Stra├čenkatzen ja auch, auch wenn wir Deutschen dasein bisschen besser im Griff haben ­čśŽ

    Like

  5. […] the nearby Kalithea springs (right next to the cat sanctuary we visited) there were pictures on the walls commemorating the movies made there, most […]

    Like

  6. I started to really tear up reading this post. My mom and sister would just be in seventh heaven in Rhodos. It breaks my hear when any animal is abused or murdered. I just don’t get it..
    such a wonderful post. I’m glad I’m reading this now. I needed this Post to remind me of giving and loving…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] aunt and uncle have adopted two kittens from a charity in Greece. They were inspired to do so after we told them about visiting a cat shelter on Rhodos last year and when their cat died, the decision to adopt these kittens was made. This afternoon we went to […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.