a blog about plants, cats and other lovely creatures

Monday, June 28, 2010

holiday in the Mediterranean

Island of Brač, Croatia. The sun, the sea, the pebbles…

I was prepared to find some pretty little gardens with lots of flowers. I was right.

What I wasn’t prepared to find were all the hungry cats and kittens.

I should have brought bags of cat food!

I know that it is questionable how much tourists actually "help" by feeding stray animals in countries without an established spay and neuter program.

But would you have the heart to walk away from these little ones without sharing your snack with them?

There was one lost soul in particular that touched my heart.

This thin little cat with some older mouth injury, obviously unable to hunt for anything, found us one night on a terrace, watching the starry sky. When I volunteered to do the hunting instead and went to steal some cheese from our roommate, I told her to wait a little and she understood and waited. She seemed too afraid of people to come closer, yet also aware that they were the only source of food for her.

On the last night of our stay we heard some funny noises outside our bedroom window. Silky Soul said it was the aliens coming to get us (we had just watched the movie The Fourth Kind), but it was this little girl who finally found us and lied down to rest on a table beneath the window. I was touched. The next day when we loaded the car, she hid underneath it. I gave her the last meal I could share with her. She sat down at the edge of the road and watched us get in the car. She looked sad and lonely. I cannot get her out of my mind. Her serious, big eyes. Her little mouth, half-open all the time. The ribs under her skin. The way she looked up to the sky at a bird she will never be able to catch.


  1. we went to Malta a few years back, ant the place was littered with cats as well, my wife was delighted!

  2. Oh. Was going to add - holiday in the Med on the island of ... Malta. So, as I was going to say - was fascinated by prehistoric temples. But we went in spring, migrating birds returning, and being shot as they landed. And feral cats who shared our cheese for breakfast, yes.

  3. the same thing always happens to me in italy... we started buying prosciutto for the cats. it's so sad.

  4. This is a real problem in countries in South-Europe. I feel so sorry for the poor cats, no chance for them mostly. One of my sister-in-laws in Italy owns a farm and she is giving homeless animals like dogs, cats, turtles and more a place at her farm.

    But do not think that here would not live poor cats! My husband and I are feeding a homeless little male cat since last year in autumn. He is now on a good way, became friend with our male cat and we guess that he will move in before next winter will come along.

    It is always hard to forget about all these poor animals!

    Love to you, Brigitte

  5. So cute, your little kittys! It is the same like in Turkye, nobody does feed them!


  6. Yes, it is a problem in many countries, also in the Czech Republic, especially in the rural areas where these things are left "to nature". But the authorities and many people now understand the necessity of spaying/neutering and besides the official municipal facilities, there are many civil associations that are only sponsored by compassionate citizens and whose job it is to catch feral cats, give them proper veterinary care including spaying/neutering and then release them back, or find foster homes for them as pets. I got one of my cats through such association.
    When I came back from Croatia and looked for what could be done for the cats there, I found a discussion where a foreign lady living in Dubrovnik wrote:

    "We have an expat organization here called the Dubrovnik Foreign Circle with many of the foreigners who now live in Dubrovnik. One of our aims is to teach the local population about spaying and neutering. One of our ladies has contacted a mobile spay clinic from Austria and we are trying to get them to come down and take care of as many of the cats and dogs we can catch.
    So many of the locals do feed the cats and dogs, but they just will do nothing about neutering these animals. There is a dog kennel up in Bosanka but nothing for the cats. It is more than heartbreaking and we can only do so much and it begins with education and funding."

  7. An example from Bulgaria of how things CAN change


    and here one new project in Zagreb, Croatia


    Thank you Four Paws!

  8. It's very sad I do get angry that the people in those cities, or the local governments, do not have a program to stop the breeding. That poor cat must have broken your heart.

  9. Welcome Marie, thank you for visiting, yes, I keep thinking about her... I really wonder what one can do to help.

  10. Cute and wild. Hard to turn away from them but these cats are great survivors. And also I really like your blog so have adopted it as a current featured blog



  11. Welcome Laura and thank you for your kind words.