Care 4 Cats Ibiza by Marianne Crawford
Have you noticed many cats around when you are in Ibiza? On the streets, in the alleyways, on waste ground, in car parks, up by the church, in the marina, at the river?
If not, keep your eyes open and you will.
They are everywhere! I moved to Ibiza 4 and a half years ago and started feeding strays very shortly afterwards.
I have always loved cats and giving the strays some food meant that I got to spend time with them, this is how it began!
Before I moved here I googled Ibiza and cats and it gave me Care4Cats, the cat charity that neuters the stray, abandoned and feral cats of Ibiza.
I contacted them and arranged to meet a couple of volunteers for lunch when I arrived.
This led to helping out with trapping, where you put some smelly food, normally sardines, in an automatic cage, go and hide, then wait for the cat to go into the cage and the door to slam shut!
They are then taken to the vets, neutered and taken back the next day once they have recovered from the operation.
This is only done with cats that have been reported as unneutered strays by their feeder or a neighbour etc, they are never randomly taken from the streets!
Trapping was good, but it didn’t give me any actual time with the cats, so I started taking cat biscuits to the river with me in the evening and feeding the colony there.
The regular feeders for this colony, Michael and Susan, who fed them for 6 years, moved back to the UK last May so I took over their lunchtime feed as well as still doing the evening feed.
One colony of cats became 2 colonies as I used to leave biscuits on a wall of a house next to the bridge.
This attracted more cats, 3 initially, now 11! So, in total at the river, I now have 19 cats split between the 2 places which I feed twice a day, every day.
I love them all and they trust me.
Most of them I can pick up, some sit on my lap for cuddles. I wish I could take them all home with me!
I still work with Care4Cats, I get the new arrivals neutered and if ever they are sick I take them to the vets and pay for this with my own money as the charity are always short on cash for neutering.
On top of this, I feed another 8 cats in Eroski car park, twice a day too. I also try to find homes for them, not all as some are very happy living outside knowing they have a constant food source.
Some however, mainly the young ones, are not cut out for a life outside and when they are too trusting with humans it can be dangerous for them.
Not all people are nice to cats and I have seen kids throwing stones at them, I also saw a kid throw one into the river, one was even shot in the neck with a pellet gun, which killed him.
The other thing I have to deal with is people dumping kittens at the river, in my feeding spots, for me to find and help.
This happens on average 3 times a year and the kittens are normally only a couple of weeks old.
These kittens I take to my friend Jacquie, a Care4Cats volunteer, who bottle feeds the young abandoned and dumped babies then finds homes for them.
If she is full up, which happens (at one stage last year she had 28 kittens in her one-bedroom apartment), she finds me a fosterer to take them in until they are old enough to be homed.
So, if you are a cat lover, please come and visit me and the cats at the river, I am there at lunchtime, normally around 12 and again in the evening, around 7, if I have work that evening then it’s later, around 9.
The colony by the ducks, down by the old bridge end of the river are very used to people but still wary.
However, if you are talking to me and they can see that I am fine with you, they will normally allow you to touch them!
If you would like to donate some money to the charity so that they can continue to neuter, care for the injured and sick and feed, vaccinate, de worm, de flea etc. the babies, please go to either the Facebook page
Please visit the Care 4 Cats Facebook page Here
There is also the Care 4 Cats Website Here
There are many collection pots in town, in the White Island Shop, the Queen Vic, various other shops and bars, or you can give it to me to give to them directly.
Thank you and I hope to see you at the river this summer!