The Trouble With Cats

Published in About Animals

The sufferings of Hvar's cats blight an otherwise happy visit to Hvar.

Stella's postcard from Canada Stella's postcard from Canada Lidija Biro

Lidija Biro has been on Hvar for three months studying wine-making. Her visit has been highly successful from many points of view, but she is concerned about the sad fate of so many poor cats on the island. As she explains:

"Hvar is an incredibly beautiful island to visit. Its charms are many, the sea, the steep mountainsides abundantly fragrant with lavender, rosemary, fennel, and mint.

Terraced vineyards and olive groves hint at delicious wines and oils to enhance any meal. Lovely hilltop villages with friendly people and sophisticated sea-side towns offer everything a tourist could want and need.

But there is an ugly side to life on Hvar. Cats!

There is an abundance of unwanted, homeless, hungry and sick or injured cats that roam the towns and villages meowing for a morsel or a gentle pat.

The locals say, “It’s the tourists! They feed them all summer and then go away. But the cats remain.”

No, dear people of Hvar, it’s not the tourists who are to blame, it’s you. Simply, have your cats neutered. There are too many for you and the tourists to look after.

The price for the procedure is less than the cost of the abuse suffered by kittens and abandoned cats on a daily basis ... slow death by starvation, poisoning or a quicker death under the wheels of a car.

During my stay on the island, I have seen dead kittens in the tunnel to Zavala, young cats dropped off in upper Pitve, hungry, dirty cats in every alleyway of your beautiful towns. My heart broke the other day when on a walk along the sea, an orange and white kitten meowed at me for some comfort as he hobbled closer with a displaced or broken hip.

As my three months on Hvar come to and end, I have done my part by helping to feed the cats of upper Pitve and contributing to the establishment of an animal shelter. I am also taking one of the stray kittens back to Canada with me.

So what about you? Will you do your part ... and neuter your cat?

The tourists will thank you!"

© Lidija Biro, November 2014

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be measured by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi

 

POST-SCRIPT : AFTER HVAR

Lidija Biro contacted Eco Hvar in late September by e-mail, when Stella the kitten first arrived in her life: "I am renting a house in a village on Hvar, and a stray kitten turned up hiding in the entry to the house. The kitten does not belong to anyone of the neighbours (I asked). I am from Canada and will be leaving in November so I would like to find a home for her/him(?) soon before we get too attached. Can you help? I am taking the kitten to the vet in Stari Grad for deworming. Thank you." 

This was one of several such queries received by Eco Hvar during the year. Usually, our advice is to feed the cat outdoors, and let it find its way in its own environment. However, Stella had already been taken in, washed, de-wormed, given a collar, fed all sorts of special foods, and had definitely become a house cat. Despite having a strong character, she was small and unlikely to survive on her own in a sometimes hostile environment. So our advice was that, unless a similar level of home comfort could be found for Stella, Lidija and her family should take her with them when they left, if they possibly could.

And so it was that Stella embarked on a Great Journey, taking in Međugorje, Mostar, Sarajevo, Kutjevo and Zagreb among other beautiful places. She proved to be a good and resilient traveller. From Zagreb, Lidija reported: "Stella Bella has been a good traveler so far although she gets up way too early (around 5 a.m.) and meows for her breakfast." As no suitable home had been found for Stella on her travels so far, she went on the next stage of her odyssey, which proved to be much more of a trial for her, despite her special cat-box supplied with food and water: "Stella Bella survived the plane trip … just barely. She was cold, wet, and frightened by the time we arrived in Toronto … but she is a little survivor and recuperated very quickly."

Once in her new home, all was well: "Stella is happy, safe and enjoying the run of a large house (Mom’s) here in Mississauga. She has been watching with fascination the snow falling and the squirrels hopping about the back garden. Right now, we have decided that she is to be an indoor cat. But come the mild weather in Spring and Summer, we may let her out. I am sure she is missing her outdoor romps and her cat friends on Hvar."

 

You are here: Home about animals The Trouble With Cats

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Consultation proposes reducing pollutants, including particulates from wood burners and ammonia from farms – but does little to tackle diesel emissions

    A new clean air strategy published by the UK government has been criticised as “hugely disappointing” by the Labour party. Other groups said it did little to tackle the dirty diesel vehicles that are the main source of toxic air in urban areas.

    The new strategy, announced on Tuesday by environment secretary, Michael Gove, aims to crack down on a wide range of pollutants. These include particulates from wet wood and coal burning in homes, ammonia emissions from farms and dust from vehicle tyres and brakes.

    Continue reading...

  • Groundbreaking assessment of all life on Earth reveals humanity’s surprisingly tiny part in it as well as our disproportionate impact

    Humankind is revealed as simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth by a groundbreaking new assessment of all life on the planet.

    The world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, according to the study. Yet since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds.

    Continue reading...

  • Exclusive: UK capital has the most expensive public transport, second-worst air quality and is one of most dangerous to walk and cycle, study of 13 EU cities reveals

    London is trailing behind other major European capitals in its effort to create a clean, affordable and safe transport system, according to a new report.

    The study of 13 EU cities found London has the second worst air quality after Moscow, as well as the most expensive public transport and the highest number of cycling accidents.

    Continue reading...

  • Scores of retailer’s own-brand items will have no date label in drive to reduce food waste

    Tesco will scrap “confusing” best before dates on nearly 70 fresh fruit and vegetable products in its latest move to reduce food waste.

    Shoppers will no longer find date labels on some of the retailer’s own-brand apples, potatoes, tomatoes, lemons and onions, which it hopes will prevent them from being thrown away while still edible.

    Continue reading...

  • They are fluttering down catwalks and even appeared at the royal wedding, but for some activists all feathers are stolen property – whether or not they involve cruelty

    The red carpet has been a hotbed of sartorial protest this year, with influential people opting to express their politics through their wardrobe. But as many celebrities scramble for the moral high ground, some controversial guests have slipped under the radar. They go by a few names – marabou, ostrich, peacock – and accompanied Angelina Jolie to the Critics’ Choice awards, Lupita Nyong’o to the Cannes film festival and Katy Perry to the Met Gala.

    Yes, feathers are suddenly everywhere again – not only in the wardrobes of glossy style icons, but also on embellished fascinators (as worn by the Duchess of Cornwall at the royal wedding) and in a sizeable proportion of the nation’s pillows, parkas and duvets. Yet, in some quarters, there is a growing discomfort with them.

    Continue reading...

  • Government urged to take steps to reduce the impact of toxic air on vulnerable children

    Clean-air campaigners have written to the government calling for a ban on parents driving their children to school in an attempt to cut down on toxic levels of air pollution.

    Environmental groups and medics warn that pollution from the school run is having a serious impact on young people’s health.

    Continue reading...

  • Biomass-burning unit to use pioneering technology that aims to cut emissions

    Drax Group will lead a £400,000 trial to capture and store carbon at its north Yorkshire power station in an attempt to kickstart a technology that has repeatedly failed to get off the ground in the UK.

    The company was part of earlier efforts to build a £1bn prototype carbon capture coal plant, but pulled out in 2015 after it missed out on renewable energy subsidies. Now the firm will try again with a pioneering form of the technology, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), to cut emissions from one of its four biomass-burning units. Experts believe the project is a world first.

    Continue reading...

  • Tanzanian government accused of putting indigenous people at risk in order to grant foreign tourists access to Serengeti wildlife

    The Tanzanian government is putting foreign safari companies ahead of Maasai herding communities as environmental tensions grow on the fringes of the Serengeti national park, according to a new investigation.

    Hundreds of homes have been burned and tens of thousands of people driven from ancestral land in Loliondo in the Ngorongoro district in recent years to benefit high-end tourists and a Middle Eastern royal family, says the report by the California-based thinktank the Oakland Institute.

    Continue reading...

  • The ‘Jilamito Five’ are the latest to be caught up in battles over land and natural resources, that have seen more than 130 defenders killed since 2009

    The suspects pray together on a concrete podium opposite the courthouse where they face criminal charges. Their alleged misdemeanour: “land invasion” during a protest against the construction of a dam. A guilty verdict could bring a jail term of up to four years.

    If that seems harsh, then it’s because this is Honduras, where hundreds have been jailed and scores killed for environmental activism over the past decade. The accused – a teacher, hardware-store owner, farmers and the newly elected municipal mayor – are opposed to a dam on the Jilamito river in the tropical region of Atlántida. The authorities are hoping a prosecution will enable them to clear a makeshift community blockade in the remote hilly pastures so construction can begin.

    Continue reading...

  • Latest ambush worst attack to date at home to world’s largest population of mountain gorillas

    Five rangers and a driver have been killed in an ambush in Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    A sixth ranger was injured in the attack on Monday that took place in the central section of the vast reserve, known globally for its population of rare mountain gorillas.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds