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

  • Breakthrough means less pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions

    It is a problem bedevilling households across the UK: what can we do with the mountains of food-spattered plastic waste left in our bins?

    Now a group of scientists say they have the answer – by using the detritus of domestic life to heat homes.

    Continue reading...

  • Schools should teach pupils gardening skills to instil a passion for the environment in future generations, says horticultural chief

    From the water vole to the Scottish wildcat, the dwindling numbers of Britain’s most at-risk animals are well documented. But now the alarm bell is sounding over a rather more overlooked endangered species: green-fingered children.

    Young people are so rarely spotted in gardens across Britain nowadays that the Royal Horticultural Society is warning that the country is facing a green skills crisis unless more learn to garden.

    Continue reading...

  • Australians can afford to spend more on food that meets higher animal welfare standards. It’s time to demand change from farmers

    It’s easy to argue that the intensification of animal farming puts food on the average Aussie battler’s table at a price they can afford. By suggesting we eat less meat, or better-quality meat, it’s easy to be accused of favouring the rich: perhaps only theycan afford the grass-fed, organic, free-range alternative?

    So let’s take a look at the numbers. The average Australian spends about 14% of their income on food – down from about 19% of income 30 years ago. According to government statistics, total annual expenditure on meat and seafood was only $650 per person in 2015-16 compared with $734 in 1988-89, allowing for inflation (the data for seafood and meat were compiled into one number, unfortunately). We spend less on meat than we used to, and buy more of it. So now, according to the most recent numbers available, each week households spend an average of $13.70 on vegetables and $9.60 on fresh fruit. Compare that to the $40 or more we spend each week on takeaways, fast food and confectionery. Or the 31% of our food budget we spend eating out, a 50% increase on three decades prior. Or the $13 we spend, on average, per household, per week, on our pets.

    Continue reading...

  • Even short-haul flights produce huge amounts of CO2, figures show

    Continue reading...

  • High numbers have reached UK in past six weeks and many of their offspring will emerge during Big Butterfly Count

    Wildlife lovers are being urged to help record the greatest influx of painted lady butterflies for a decade as part of the world’s largest butterfly survey.

    Unusually high numbers of the migratory butterfly have flown into Britain from continental Europe in the last six weeks and some of their offspring will emerge during the Big Butterfly Count, which starts on Friday.

    Continue reading...

  • Firebugs in Russia, monkeys in India and penguin visitors in a New Zealand sushi shop

    Continue reading...

  • Our conditions have forced us to temper our expectations, but my friend and I won’t let them stop us pursuing what we love

    A breakaway is a cycling term that refers to an individual or a small group of cyclists who have successfully opened a gap ahead of the peloton, the main group of cyclists. On 21 July, two of us are plotting a breakaway from the disease that hangs over our daily lives by tackling one of the most challenging amateur cycling events.

    The Etape du Tour, which has been running since 1993, is a chance for amateur cyclists to test their mettle on a stage of the Tour de France, riding on the same routes and under the same conditions as the professionals.

    Continue reading...

  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says ‘further loss of coral is inevitable’

    The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef has made an unprecedented call for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, warning only the “strongest and fastest possible action” will reduce the risks to the natural wonder.

    The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has published a climate position statement that says the reef is already damaged from warming oceans and it is “critical” global temperature rises remain within 1.5 degrees.

    Continue reading...

  • SKM Recycling says its collapse could mean 400,000 tonnes a year more waste sent to landfill

    A major recycling company feared to be at risk of going into administration has warned up to 400,000 tonnes of glass, paper, plastic and metals could be sent to landfill each year if it goes under.

    Victoria-based SKM Recycling issued the warning in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the waste management crisis that has grown since China introduced an effective ban on most imported recyclable materials in 2017.

    Continue reading...

  • Not only carbon dioxide but also soot released from fires has impact on global warming, study finds

    The focus on plastics in our oceans has highlighted the global problem of waste disposal. Household bin collection and the recycling, composting, burying or incinerating of our rubbish are key functions of a modern city. But in low-income countries about 90% of waste ends up in open dumps or is burned in the open air.

    Obviously, burning waste creates carbon dioxide and the smoke contains health-harmful particles, but it also contains tiny black particles of soot which have a huge short-term climate impact. Researchers from London’s King’s and Imperialcolleges burned small samples of rubbish and measured the smoke. Soot amounts were greatest when the rubbish contained two plastics: polystyrene and polyethylene terephthalate (more commonly abbreviated to PET and often used to make drinks bottles). Burning waste containing textiles, many of these being plastic, also contributed to high soot releases.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds