We are currently visiting your lovely island and are staying in the Amfora Hotel. Since our arrival we have fallen in love with a beautiful stray young cat.
She seems to spend the majority of her time down by the main harbour area (she sleeps behind the stalls underneath the palm trees, diagonally across from Split Bank). She's jet black all over with a pointed face and eyes and nose resembling a Siamese breed. She's so very thin and malnourished and we have been feeding her and looking after her as best we can during the time we have been here. We were delighted when we found your website, just moments ago. As a tourists, we have been hopeful that an organisation such as yours would exist. I've read about some of your work, your hopes and aspirations for the future. We feel powerless to do very much at all to help the little cat we've fallen in love with. Can you provide us with any guidance or information as to how we can support the cat?
One question might be, should we enquire about taking her home? Would this be possible? Do you know of anyone who has done this before?
Another question might be, how can we support you as an organisation to help her, and others like her, when we leave?
C & D, visitors from Scotland, June 30th 2014
Many thanks for your very kind email. As you may have gathered from the website, yours is a fairly common situation! So far as I know, it is possible to take cats out of the country using the pet passport scheme. It is certainly routine with dogs. I am not familiar with the procedures for cats, but they must be similar to those for dogs. I think you have left it a bit late to do the necessary inoculations for taking her back with you, but I will ask at the vet's tomorrow morning, as I am going there with some of my dogs for their annual vaccinations. If it is not too late, the other thing would be to check with your airline whether you can take a small cat in the cabin, or if she would have to be put in the hold. On most airlines, pets which can fit into a small carrier can go in the cabin, which is of course less traumatic for the animal than putting it into the hold. If it is too late to arrange the transport to Scotland, you should be consoled by the fact that during the summer most of the stray cats are given food by kind tourists and locals or from the restaurants. Cats are generally good survivors, and it is of course important for us to accept that everyone has his/her own destiny. We do what we can to make their lives better and longer, but we can't hope to create an animal utopia in this imperfect world.
It is kind of you to offer to support our charity, and the details for making donations to our bank account are given on the home page under the heading 'How you can help'. As individuals we help as many animals as we can, and we are working on the animal shelter project, which involves a huge amount of planning and eventually money. Tomorrow we are going to look at potential sites for the shelter, which is key to putting the project forward for funding from international organizations.
If you would like to send me a mobile number, I can text you once I have been to the vet's tomorrow.
Eco Hvar June 30th 2014
From the Vet: Cats over 3 months old have to be micro-chipped and inoculated against rabies, and they can travel a month later. Younger cats do not have to be micro-chipped, just inoculated.
It was therefore too late for C & D to prepare the cat for travel, and anyway as it turned out, their airline would not carry pets of any kind in the hold or in the cabin.
There are lots of helpful tips for travelling with cats on the internet, including 'How to travel with a cat', and 'Cat travel: flying with cats'.