Tuesday, August 7, 2012

In the Absence of Ideal Solutions, We Take Rosie and Fuzz to the Shelter

We decided to take Rosie and Fuzz to the shelter at the end of last week. 

Fuzz and Rosie in the carrier before their journey to the shelter

It was a hard decision, and we are not entirely comfortable it it.  It came down to weighing up the options, though none of them presently available was ideal. 

Rosie and Fuzz came from the Park

It would be nice if we were weighing up between good and better.  But in the absence of people willing to step forward and offer homes to these cats, and because we do not have the appropriate land for a sanctuary yet, and because our house is full, it seems always to come down to weighing up between bad and worse. 

Taking them to the shelter is not what we wanted

I had started picking Rosie and Fuzz up and putting them on the table to feed in the mornings, because I wanted them to get used to being handled, so they could be adoptable.  They weren't thrilled with the idea of being picked up at first, but it wasn't long at all before they both warmed up to the idea, seeing as how it meant they would get special delicious kitten food that they wouldn't have to fight for, and they no longer had to worry about being pushed away from their plates by Baby's older kittens (who seem to have bottomless stomachs). 

Getting to know Fuzz

Soon after they got accustomed to being handled, they started meeting me up at the top of the park with the other older cats in the morning.  This upper area is a lot closer to the dangerous seafront road.  This development started making us even more nervous than we already were for their safety. 

Many of the cats meet me at the upper level of the park in the morning

How we would have loved to have brought them home with us to live! 

Seeing how quickly they were growing, and knowing the preference of people for kittens over cats, we decided Rosie and Fuzz's best chance to be adopted would be at the Paphiakos Shelter, whose policy is a no kill one for cats - before they get any older. 

The kittens at the park are growing up fast

Fuzz has grown a lot

But being the smallest they often get pushed away from the food plates - that's Rosie in the middle

Soon after we took them to the shelter, two friends told us they would be euthanized there.   There are many rumors about shelters and it is difficult to seperate fact from fiction.  And animal lovers can understandably fear the worst.  But Paphiakos has assured and reassured us they have a no kill policy for cats.  They cannot say the same for dogs. 

We trust that they are telling us the truth at Paphiakos and we trust that Rosie and Fuzz will be safe there, safer than they will be at the park where the cars are a danger, illness is a danger, and poisoning is always a fear.

We are still searching for affordable property in the area for a private sanctuary, and we have found another piece recently that is relatively affordable, but our reservation is it will not be big enough, being only 2.5 skalas as compared to the 5-6 we really need for the number of cats we are intent on relocating. 

We are still looking for agricultural land for a sanctuary for the cats - this one at 5 skala is perfect, but very expensive at about 350,000 USD

But until the day comes we are able to afford and secure an appropriate piece of land, we are unfortunately forced now to decide between bad and worse. 

We have 27 cats in the house at the moment right now, and more living outside

I miss seeing them every morning a lot.  I know Squiggles misses them, too.  I have not been able to get Squiggles to warm up yet to a touch.  If I had we would have kept the three of them together.

Squiggles misses Rosie and Fuzz

Playing at the park

It often adds up like this for us:

WORST:  We could leave them on the streets where they can be killed by cars, poisonings, or cat flu

BETTER:  We could take them to a safe shelter where they have a chance (even if small) of being adopted.  They will be cared for, we trust, for the remainder of their natural life. Kittens will have the best chance of adoption in this situation.

BETTER:  We can still hope for foster homes.

BETTER STILL:  We can go forward and build a sanctuary where we will relocate and look after the cats with appropriate space, also making them available for adoption to qualified homes.  We plan on doing this in any case, God willing.

IDEAL/BEST : We can find suitable, loving, safe, stable and permanent homes for all of the cats.

We ask for your prayers for Fuzz and Rosie that they will be well looked after at the shelter, and will be able to stay together and make many friends, and that a kind and loving person will adopt them both and give them the loving, permanent home they deserve. 

Please pray Rosie and Fuzz will find a good home

It wasn't a happy day to take them to the shelter. It was a sad day.  And we don't feel great about our decision.  But we would feel even worse if something happened to them at the park such as happened to Zsa Zsa or Tweeny or Tweets, or all the others we lost before we started this blog.  For now, that is what it comes down to for us, deciding between two not so hot options.


They are the first of the street cats we care for that we have ever taken to a shelter.

It was a difficult day.

BTW  Paphiakos is collecting cans for recycling to raise money for their shelter.  If you live in Cyprus, please save your cans for them and see their home page for drop off points.  

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