This month Marilyn and I have been organising food donation boxes to help with our stray winter feeding programme and buying vaccines. Also we have been trying to find homes for strays and for the adopted pets of summer residents. Because the island lacks a boarding kennels, we who live the entire year here should perhaps help each other. If you are able to ‘adopt a pet’ over the winter - enough food for the animal and a little over for your own will be provided - leave your details at Sirocco’s next to Aromas Cafe in Paroikia, where I collect my mail.
We cannot find homes for all animals left to fend for themselves after the season. If you find a very sick animal, think about euthanasia to end their suffering. The agricultural vets on the back road in Paroikia will do this at no charge.
Another way to help is to write to the Mayor. We welcome back Mayor Argouzis who has in the past generously provided medicine and a building for the visiting vet’s use. However, we hope that soon Mr. Argouzis may provide a permanent building. I will be giving him a copy of this month’s ‘Foreigner’ and a letter. My father always said that one letter written was worth 1,000 intended. So please write to the Mayor - in English or Greek - and send a copy to ‘The Friends of the Cat Society’ and GAWF.
Also, if you require legal advice or wish to report a cruelty case, contact: Friends of the Cat (The Greek Cat Welfare Society) President - Mrs Servaki-Blackstone, 15a Amassias Street, Pangrati 116 35, Athens (Tel: 01-72-58497. Website - catfriend.home.ml.org), or GAWF (Greek Animal Welfare Fund) Head Office, 1-2 Castle Lane, London SW1E 6DN (Tel: +44-171-828-9736 Fax: +44-171-630-9816).
Unfortunately, GAWF cannot send a vet to neuter dogs until January. Carol McBeth’s school education visit has also been postponed as her calendar is heavily booked. However, the good news is that before 15th November a vet will come to sterilise cats for 3-4 days. We will be working from the same building as September. As I have 40 cats booked already, hurry to make an appointment. If you have difficulty in contacting me on my mobile, leave letters for me at Sirocco with your contact number. Marilyn’s number is 51637.
Two food donation boxes were constructed with the help of Marilyn’s handyman Roland and artist Andreas Sciadas - their voluntary work is much appreciated. The boxes are sited at Tassos Pet Shop and Euromarket in Paroikia. Leave donations of rice, macaroni and animal biscuits at the pet shop marked ‘for Vivienne’ and I will distribute this food to needy areas.
After last month’s article we received the following responses. 1. Two English students gave their last 5,000drs which we used to buy materials for our food donation boxes. 2. Two German cat lovers donated 200 marks - half went to ‘Friends of the Cat’ in Athens, the other half we kept for much-needed vaccines. 3. Three Australian girls called wanting to donate their last 10,000drs. With this money I bought 20 kilos of cat biscuits which were delivered to people struggling to feed the numerous strays of Paroikia. The rest I kept in my car to feed animals on my travels around Paros.
I invited the girls to see the two large cat colonies with which I have been involved. They saw the benefits of sterilisation, vaccination and what a little tender love and care can do and as they filmed Dimitri’s farm and Denis apartments, they left with a lasting impression of the island. Addresses were exchanged, further donations pledged and I promised to send a copy of ‘The Foreigner’ each month. These are just a few happy responses from tourists - it would be nice if local Parian business people could also help with animal welfare. Donation boxes can be found at Norio’s Restaurant, Donna’s Hairdressers, Euromarket, Cafe Nostos, Tassos Pet Shop, Pangouris Bakery, Kastro Bazaar and Hotel Argo Livadia. The best donation box this summer was the Happy Green Cow Vegetarian Restaurant in Paroikia. 15,000 drs. Thanks guys for being so animal friendly.
Lost Dog: Donna, who has a hair salon in Paroikia, has lost a 5 month old honey blonde pedigree dog called ‘Jakey’ from their home in Parasporos. If you find him please call her at 24226 or mobile 097-400745.
Animal Vaccines: It is imperative that animals are 100% healthy before vaccines are given. An initial course of 2 vaccines, 3-4 weeks apart is required, then annually. For pets 5 years+ every 2 years is enough.
I have been asked what diseases are covered by cat and dog vaccines. I’ll cover cats this month and dogs the next.
1. Feline Enteritis or Feline Panleucopenia, is the most dangerous viral cat disease. It is very contagious and the death rate is high. Pregnant cats may lose their young or give birth to kittens with abnormalities. Symptoms include depression, loss of appetite, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood and severe abdominal pain. Cats that do survive may continue to carry the virus for some time and infect other cats.
2. Feline Respiratory disease or cat flu. 90% of cases are caused by feline Herpes, feline Rhinotracheitis (FR) and or feline Calicivirus (FC). It affects all ages but especially kittens, Siamese and Burmese cats. It is highly contagious and causes sneezing, coughing, running eyes, nasal discharge loss of appetite and tongue ulcers. Fortunately the death rate is low except in young kittens but it is distressing and may persist for several weeks. Survivors remain carriers for long periods.
3. Chlamydia - a very contagious eye disease which, left untreated, causes the eyes to literally pop out causing blindness.
These diseases are not transmittable to humans. Check the vet uses “FEL-O-VAX IV” which covers the cat against all of these diseases, as some other brands don’t include chlamydia.