Madame Hargreaves leads fundraising for Syros Cats

Elmhurst School for Boys

17th November 2014

This summer was the fourth year in a row that I have visited the Greek  island of Syros. This year, I got to know a remarkable English woman who, in between trips abroad as a travel writer, lives on the island and has set up a programme to feed and care for the many stray cats there.

As a result of meeting Jacky, I am now the proud owner of a beautiful four month old kitten named ‘Tigeraki’ (‘little tiger’ in Greek). He arrived last Sunday, via Italy and France, and through the Eurotunnel, microchipped, complete with vaccinations, and with his own cat passport!

There is no culture of neutering cats in Syros, breeding is out of control, and many have a hard time at the mercy of cat haters who routinely poison, mistreat, or abandon them.

Jacky has set up a neutering programme in collaboration with local vets, as well as an animal care colony to look after abandoned kittens, recovering victims of road accidents or cats in need of ongoing medical treatment. Jacky’s ‘cat cafe’ attracts many visitors, especially in the winter, when other food sources are scarce. Dedicated local feeders make daily rounds of colonies, providing them with dried food and picking up any cats that are in serious need of attention.

Jacky and her team rely solely on donations. They have no paid staff and low overheads, so all the funds they receive are spent directly on improving the lives of the strays. Amongst other fundraising events, Jacky grows and collects lavender to make products which she sells to raise money for food and veterinary care. I have left a selection of lavender goodies and cards in the office, which can be ordered. We are also raffling tickets (£1 a square) for a lovely cat advent calendar.

If you would like to adopt a cat or help in any way, please contact myself, Madame Hargreaves, via the School Office. To find out more about the programme send an email to syroscats@hotmail.co.uk or follow them on facebook.com/syroscats

Madame Hargreaves

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