Monday, April 28, 2014

Still waiting...




This blog post is to facilitate the adoption of Buttercup, Daisy and Honey (Honeysuckle).
Most of you know the story... they were rescued after being discarded by a dumpster just 3 weeks old. My helper took them on and they thrived on love and they have grown just beautiful. My helper has now decided to move on in life and unfortunately weren't able to take the girls with her. They are now left behind in the apartment and they are urgently... URGENTLY looking for a loving safe forever home.
 
I do consider myself their current guardian but I cannot offer them a permanent home as I have an ever increasing problem with neighbors bemoaning cat visits in their gardens. I never wanted a situation where I would get unstuck with local Greek people and I'm desperate to get things on a balanced footing again. I have five stunning girls looking for a home but if I can first of all find a forever home for these 3 girls - then I really feel I will have made a great breakthrough.
 
They are just around 8 months old and have just been spayed. They are in the final stages of their "kitten-hood" so they are still the cutest giddy little things. They are most loving and depend on cuddles and affection. They have been reared on the best quality food and have their vaccinations in place. Honey also has a travel passport, microchip and rabies vaccination (a failed attempt to get her to England). I will provide the other two girls with passports, microchip and rabies vaccination. Let us talk about the logistics of how to get them abroad if you can offer them a home. 
 
They have relied on each other for comfort and warmth since they were discarded at such a tender age and they now act in the same manner with each other, snuggling tightly each night when I tuck them to bed.
 
I do try to spend quality time with them each day and have had no other choice than to introduce them to the garden so satisfy their bursting energy levels and sweet curiosity. It may look perfect - BUT let me once again reiterate - letting them in the garden and adding them to my already 40 cats is causing a great strain on an already tense situation. SO PLEASE... do help spread the word once again if you are able.
 
They are each others mainstay in life so it would be very perfect if they can find a home together but as I know this is wishful thinking I would also love to hear from anyone interested in them individually. You can drop me a line here: joanbowell@yahoo.com
 
Here's a few images to introduce you further to these glorious young girls...
 
This is Buttercup... A little careful and shy outdoors but she charges around and loves her toys indoors. She is known for her love of lounging in the cat tray! (yes, much to the amusement of the person cleaning the cat tray!!). She has amazing drawings in her fur coat.





 
And this is Daisy... Daisy appears like the more timid but she is actually pretty fearless outdoors. She happily explores the outdoors and is otherwise sweet, playful, gorgeous and affectionate. She appears like the most 'sensible' of the three. She has a very gentle look on her darling face and who can resist that brown line on her left front paw. I love it!




 
And this is little Honey (Honeysuckle). She is just a little smaller than Buttercup and Daisy and acts like the cheeky little sister! She is the most affectionate of the three and will let you know when it's time for cuddles. She walks up to other cats with a stride and she is very confident. Honey is silly and giddy and will not sit still for long. It's impossible to get a good shot of her face because she is an action girl - but she is also charm itself in a little pretty fur coat!! She has similar drawings to Buttercup but she is the 'café-latte' colored version.


 
 
And here's the girls together. This first image is Honey and Buttercup...


Their stunning fur coats...


And a big smile from Daisy!



Sunday, April 6, 2014

A happy beginning...

 
It was blissful happiness all over when these cutie pies were rescued back in October 2013. You probably remember their miserable start to life - they were discarded by the dumpster just 3 weeks old. But sadness turned to delight when Rebecca agreed to take them on and they were rescued just in time. The day after they were rescued we had a torrential rainfall that lasted for 24 hours and  it literally washed things away. They would not have survived abandoned in nature during this rainfall.
 
But they were brought to safety and have thrived on love and affection and they have now grown into the most stunning ginger girls. Unfortunately some of their luck is running out as Rebecca will be leaving in 12 days (and unfortunately can't take them with her).
 
When she leaves I will take charge again for a while but my Greek home is full to the brim already and I have no choice but to let these beauties roam free among our other Greek cats. They will no longer have their own home and 'their own special person' so to speak. They are extremely affectionate and very much rely on love and cuddles - so unfortunately, as it happens, some of this will fade when they don't any longer live with a person to look after them. We are therefore desperately looking for an adoptive home or homes for them. I will be there to feed them and have some contact with them, but it will no longer be the same life for them with 'their person' gone.

 
 
As some of you know, I have already posted on Facebook about their adoption. They are approx. 8 months old and they have had their vaccinations. Honeysuckle (the 'café-latte' colored kitty to the right in this image above) also has her rabies vaccination and microchip so she is ready to go anywhere in the world. The other two, Buttercup and Daisy will also be prepared for travel and it's preferred that the these two stay together as they very much rely on each other for comfort. If anyone can offer a home to the 3 girls together, all the better.
 
I know I have already asked you to share many times, but if you will please once again share for the sake of these girls, I would be most grateful. I have compiled all their photos on Flickr - please have a look HERE.
 
P.s. Skipper from my last post is still looking for a home.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Times are changing

 
Times are changing and I've come to a bit of a crossroad with my little Greek cat sanctuary in many ways.
 
Last year I had to leave it in the hands of my trusted helper to follow my husband to the States and it was a difficult and very big decision for me to leave behind my beloved cats. As winter approached needy cats kept appearing and with the efforts of my helper we rescued another 8 cats - leaving this sanctuary now at an absolute stretching point. Our kind and otherwise cat friendly farmer neighbors got a bit  twitchy and we knew we had to start thinking about getting some of our cats adopted. This has never been an easy issue. Not just because we love all our cats but most of all because offers of adoptions are very hard to come by.
 
We wish for a safe and loving life for all of our cats and we would LOVE for some of our cats to find that special forever home somewhere in Europe. Well, as you can imagine, each country has it's issues with an overpopulation of cats and most would chose to adopt from inside their own country. This practically makes it a MONUMENTAL task trying to get some of our cats adopted but I have hope - I have to proceed with hope and belief - because things needs to ease and change around here.
 
My trusted helper has decided her time is up here and she now feel it's time to move on with another career path. She has invested herself hugely in this project and both the cats and I will miss her solely. But - life has to evolve and the time has come for some of our tame and most emotionally dependent cats to find a new home. With 40+ cats, we can no longer provide what the emotionally attached cats need and I dream of a new home and future prospect for them.


 
My first girl of concern is little miss Skipper. Well, she's actually not that little, but she will always be little viewed with my eyes. You might remember the story of her - a starving, loving and super affectionate 12-13 week old kitten discarded by the dumpster. In a way Skipper needed so much more attention right from the start than what I could really offer her because I had so many other young and needy cats at that point, but Skipper settled in nicely because she was always very independent and happy to just putter around and mind her own business even though she has always adored attention. I was delighted when Skipper received a bit of extra attention from a special friend in England  - Skipper's namesake and her mummy. Ever so often we would receive a lovely parcel with treats and blankets and kind words - Skipper#1 and Anesha - thank you so much. You have always been such special and much needed friends to Skipper.


Things eased a bit for Skipper when Rebecca, my helper, came to live with us. But alas, when Rebecca took on caring for some of the new kittens over the winter, it was really the tipping point for Skipper. Skipper took to sleeping elsewhere and that pretty much meant somewhere in nature. Skipper would sometimes return for food absolutely drenched from the rain - and this still being the case really saddens me. I have just spent 3 weeks in my sanctuary and took this lovely series of photos of Skipper - and gave her some much needed attention. We had a mix of weather - a few lovely days mixed with some atrocious weather - but I made sure to keep Skipper indoors. Now at least the dry season is approaching and I'm hoping for less rainy days.
 
 
I want so much for Skipper. She is an absolute stunning girl who will roll over and reveal her most precious white belly for you. She will keep you company for gardening, puttering or any other daily activity whilst chatting away. She chats a lot and has a very cheery disposition.
 
 
So I am sincerely asking for your help in finding Skipper the safe and loving home she deserves. Will you please share this post via Facebook and get in touch with all your cat loving friends in Europe. We will provide microchip and rabies vaccination for Skipper and we will somehow find a way for her transport.
 
We have heard of lucky success stories of other Greek cats finding a loving home and we just somehow feel that THIS TIME AROUND it's time for LUCK to find it's way to one of our cats.
 
 
Skipper is a young girl of just about 1 1/2 years and she is fit as a fiddle.
Care to help via all your social media? You might just be the person who will change life for Skipper and give this little cat sanctuary a much needed BREAKTHROUGH.
 
Thank you dear friends!
 
Any questions, please feel free to drop me a line: joanbowell@yahoo.com
 



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pidge on the mend



Here's dear Pidge - he returned home three days ago (after one week at the vet). 
I've been a bit tentative writing about his recovery as he's been in a real bad state. He is a very lucky boy to be back home. The image above is Pidge just quietly getting his bearings again back home... When he arrived home he was greeted by his siblings Callie and Kit - and mommy cat Cleo. 


Here's a snapshot from today - Pidge on the mend and among his other "brothers" (Pidge is far left). Here he is in the company of (right to left) Pesto, Edison and Felix. The boys are enjoying the balmy sunny rays of sunshine on a covered terrace - the stones in the wall actually retains the warmth, so it's one of their favourite places in winter time. 

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and encouraging words and for keeping Pidge in your thoughts. And THANK YOU to those of you who donated towards Pidge's vet bill. Your support has been so incredibly warming. We feel so very blessed to have your kind support.



Friday, January 31, 2014

The little obscure lives



Many of you (those of you who's also on Facebok) will know by now that we have been faced with a real struggle recently. The number of cats having gathered around our place (not cats we have rescued or brought back - but cats that have just found their way to our garden) have just become overwhelming. Our farmer neighbours on either side have been very friendly about the cats but with the increasing number it has become an issue because the cats go to their always freshly dug gardens (the farmers tend their gardens several days a week) and as you might know, cats find fresh earth too inviting to not "participate' - as if someone just dug the earth for them to go do "natures calling." 

I'm not happy with the situation... around 30 cats seems to be the number that has been the limit of what we could handle. But as always, being on a small island with a very large and out of control cat population - we are faced with all the hungry and pleading cats and kittens that are born into this dire situation. And time and time again we are faced with are faced with the "left-overs" from holiday goers that take on a cat or a kitten for a while - and back home they go with absolutely no consciousness whatsoever. This happened to us during the late summer. Some people up the street left us a tame cat which came with "perks" - three little kittens! I insisted that we try to just keep our distance - feeding the cat mum, so she wouldn't struggle trying to keep her kittens fed and well, but not interacting with her and the kittens. But of course they eventually realised that there were both food and kind people to be found in our garden, so eventually they found no reason to leave. I have been absent, at least in physical form, for a good while now so Rebecca has been the one who has been interacting with this new family on a day to day basis. I know I couldn't take them on, so for me they have been what I call the obscure lives. I know they are there - and I feel for them, I do - but I know I can't stretch myself and the situation more and I therefore have to cut off emotionally. 




And yet, who wouldn't get involved if they fed these guys on a day to day basis? Who wouldn't also want the best for them? Just like we do for all the cats. But it's been a real struggle to stay afloat with food, medicines, neutering and so on (it's now 42 cats and still feeding 8-10 dumpster cats away from home) - and keeping the good balance at base. Here's the new crew in the image above - when they were just starting to get used to where they could find food everyday. Much to the dismay of the other cats - so they were tucked away in a corner at first whenever they had their meals. 




But of course they settled in... and you get smitten with each little kitty face. Even for me - trying to keep my distance... I get captured by the beauty in each cat and the want of each little cat to have a good life.






But... Food is no all that will keep a little cat going. Vaccinations are vital for their good health and protection - and this is where we simply can not keep up. A good number of our cats are vaccinated but frankly, trying to cover all this from personal funds alone is back breaking. No one asked us to do it - and we do it because it's what we want to do - but it gets upsetting when you can't do more. 

And sadly, one of these little guys has been struck by the Parvo virus this week. Pidge, this grey boy, was brought to the vet 5 days ago and has been struggling for his life ever since. He is on fluids, intravenous antibiotics and electrolytes - and using whatever strength he has to fight. He was neutered just 10 days prior to this and cried his lungs out to come home so we know this is not an easy situation for him - or for us.




We will be faced with a considerable vet bill for his treatment and we would therefore be SO grateful if anyone is able to donate - big or small - towards his care. You can as always use the orange Donate button just to the right of this post. Please drop me a line if you are having difficulties with Paypal - I'd be very happy to help (joanbowell@yahoo.com). Please remember to tick it as a gift, this way we avoid fees. 

The last image I have of Pidge is him with his brother Kit (the black and white boy). They'd jumped on one of the garden tables where they were basking in the sun and snuggled in the most endearing "love pretzel." And his pretty sister Callie adorning one of the garden walls. 

This is a testing time for us whilst we wait each day for an update on Pidge and hope all remains stable and sound at base. Will you please keep us in your prayers and thoughts - and help donate towards Pidge's treatment if you are able. 

I would be so grateful to anyone who would share his story. I've posted a link on Facebook.

Thank you so so much. ♥

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thank you!



Just like last year I asked an Etsy seller and complete stranger back in November if she would like to donate towards my kitty cause in the shape of donating a gift to thank my vet for his kindness and tireless efforts with helping not only our cats but Greek all Greek cats and animals in general. As you can imagine we have huge expenses each month to look after the 50 cats in our care (including the dumpster cats we feed). So being urgent to put each cent and penny towards the care of the cats - to have someone donate a gift to our vet is utterly encouraging and so invaluable. 


So I send a HUGE thank you to artist Barbara Esposito and owner of Little Island Company in California. She responded to my request within 10 minutes and promptly sent this cute onesie. This year my Greek vet had the good fortune of getting married and is now expecting his first baby with his wife. So I simply couldn't resist these quirky kitty faces and that simple message "I like cats" (last year he had a t-shirt with the message "Real men loves cats"). 



I am feel so grateful that Barbara had trust in me and sent us this gift with no hesitation - and most importantly, she helped us thank our vet. He btw was busy during the Christmas days trying to save the lives of cats and dogs that had been poisoned in one of our local areas. 

Barbara, thank you for your trust and kindness. A happy and prosperous New Year to you and your little company. You can see more of the cute goods from Little Island Company here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleIslandCompany?ref=listing-shop-header-item-count   
The top image is our vet doing a selfie with the onesie :-)

AND to you my dear dear friends... You have been so kind to us this year. Thank you for your love, for your support, for your kind and encouraging words and not least your wonderful donations. You help us continue the work with the cats. For us it's now time for a bit of a think-tank to see how we might do more for the all feral cats of the islands. As you know we have long reached our physical limit with the cats but that doesn't mean that we don't feel the plea on behalf of all the other cats. We are itching to bring each kitty home and if we knew we could get them all adopted, we would bring them home in an instant. Anyhow.  See you in this space next year and until then...



FORTUNATUS (Latin meaning: blessed, prosperous, lucky, fortunate)
Original for sale in my Etsy shop


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

To sum it up...



Rebecca and I are just a couple of girls silly in love with cats. I'm so grateful to have found a helper as silly smitten as myself...


We love the work we do in this little "orphanage love factory" and we never never tire of what we do.


But then oxytocin (also known as the love hormone) has that ability to keep you going.


How can you not be smitten??

You get a very special level of bonding with rescue cats... they have their ways of letting you know that they know you rescued them. This is Biscuit and yours truly. Yes, they do silly (fills you with smiles) things to your face!! Just look at Rebecca's face too. We're smitten girls and we're happy to admit it :-)


Yes, the above image is Biscuit (if you remember this little sad looking boy) just moments after I'd rescued him off the streets.


He's an impressive looking boy today. Unfortunately it was too late to save his right eye (image above is mirrored) but he is a giddy silly love muffin.


Would you please spare a moment and help me thank Rebecca in the comment box. It has been absolutely invaluable to us that she has come into our lives. She has a tiny human frame but she has a HUGE loving and compassionate heart. We've shared very sad moments this year (Rebecca suffered a big heartache over a kitten we simply couldn't save) but we have also shared so many moments of miraculous healing, uplift, love, light and pure joy.

And to you dear blogger friends; 
Merry Christmas to you and all your furry family members. 
Thank you for caring and making this world a better place for all animals alike.
♥♥♥



Saturday, December 7, 2013

There's a candle in your heart waiting to be kindled...



A last batch of cards for 2013 with a selection of my favorite images from this year.
With the last sale two of the cards sold out instantly and many of you asked for it. Well, here's your chance again and this time they will be available through my Etsy shop for easements sake. It costs a little more - $5,50 - because we pay a listing fee, but I hope you understand that each precious cent goes entirely towards the cats. There's no added shipping fee whether you buy one or more. This time the cards will ship from America. Each card comes in a cello sleeve and as always will be lovingly wrapped and shipped.

And this time I chose the above quote by Rumi. When we rescue a lonely little stray or orphaned soul I believe it's a beautiful process of removing hopelessness and despair - something that I have seen too often in the eyes of a little cat. And the rescue is mutual... We light a candle in a little heart and they do in our hearts. We fill a void in a little soul and they fill ours. And we certainly feel it. We rescue them and they rescue us right back!



So here's your choice of five images all together...


You will have met all the characters during earlier posts.


And the bitty Buttercup...


The cards naturally come without the watermarks and is the same beautiful quality as ever. 
Pop over to my Etsy shop for more details. You can also follow the Etsy link on the right side of this page.

Thank you!




Sunday, November 17, 2013

If love is blind...








Well, this is the story of Gilby - another blind cat which we believe is the long lost brother of Gracie. They move completely alike and they have a similar scanning head movement... 
I guess their way of sensing what's happening around them.



If Gilby is indeed Gracie's brother then Gilby has survived on his own in the wild for three years!! Quite how is a complete mystery. 

I first spotted Gracie almost three years ago and Gilby used to scurry off in the same direction as Gracie and up the exact same dirt track further up the mountain side. He even started coming inside the garden from the same side as Gracie did. That's 6 months ago. Back then he looked terribly skinny, dehydrated and unkempt. At that point he was just too timid to get close to and we literally had to throw food at him in the hope that he would find it before running off again. It was clear he came in the search of food but would always get too overwhelmed by fear when he heard us. 



But like Gracie he seemed to remember us and our place. And recently he started coming back. Maybe he was so "lucky" to have a summer of tourists feeding him because he seems to have become just a bit more used to human contact. But as it happens on Greek islands, tourists disappear this time of the year and Gilby obviously came to us in the search of his means of survival. Rebecca has now taken him under her care and I'm delighted to see how he is thriving and becoming more confident and now even responds to his name Gilby. We thought he should have a G name as we felt certain he was the brother of Gracie. So now it's officially Gilby & Gracie! Sounds sweet doesn't it!?

Gilby is showing great bravery. He now knows where the outdoor feeding station is in spite of all the other cats. And he's discovered where there's padded sleeping spaces. But he has also discovered that it is perfectly safe to just veg out right in front of us licking up the mild and warming rays of sunshine you get in Greece this time of the year. 

It's a very great privilege to earn the trust of a feral but there's something even more special when it's also blind. Gracie has given us her heart full-heartedly - her capacity to show us love - and receive it n return - is quite honestly overwhelming and most humbling. Gilby is firmly on the same path. A lot of kind and encouraging words are flowing his way each day - and now he is even getting used to feeling love through gentle touch. Very soon Gilby's true nature will be able to flourish. I am sure we will see a boy full of mischief - just like Gracie. But for now we just let Gilby find his own way. 

I don't know if Gracie and Gilby have a greater understanding of love because of their blindness but if Gracie's bounciness is something to go by then Gilby has arrived at just the right place. We have love in abundance and I believe this gentle boy is quite ready to have his heart filled with just that!! We feel most honored he has come our way.

For those not familiar with Gracie, then Gracie is the girl to the left in the top image.