Chapter 1: First things come differently and second things come differently than you think…
This report of Jörg’s Andros trip from July 28 to August 6, 2021 is very different from all the previous ones.
It used to be that after a long day on Andros, the traveler would sit down and write and edit photos late into the night to give a day-by-day, detailed account of the island and its cats.
This time we tried something new, specifically tailored to the internet forums where our supporters can be found: There is an updated report every two or three days – condensed to what is happening on the ground, very specifically related to the daily spay/neuter cats that we have always been used to, and then after the trip we publish something more detailed in a relaxed way.
This takes the tension off the traveler and off the „club voice“. And in the forums, everyone can just as calmly have a wrap-up.
We had also planned this approach with the expectation that there would be spay/neuter cats every day and we would have our hands full trying to manage the spay/neuter adoption waiting list.
Now that came to be quite different. But more of that sometime later…
So let’s start at the beginning.
At the beginning, as always, is the Andros case, which always swallows an amazing amount of accessories and this time took a detour via Crete, as a relaxing family vacation was the prelude:
The plan was then for the family to fly directly home from Crete in the early afternoon, and for Jörg to fly from Crete to Athens to take the last ferry to Andros and spend the evening comfortably in the vacation apartment. Time enough between the landing in Athens and the departure in Rafina would have been.
Yes, just make a plan!
Just be a big light!
And then make a second plan.
They both don’t work.
(from: Bertolt Brecht, The Song of the Inadequacy of Human Striving)
These lines have come true. But amazingly enough, it wasn’t the Corona pandemic that was to blame!
First, the departure was announced fifteen minutes later because the previous flight arrived later. Then another five minutes were added on because of technical problems with the plane. In the end, it became a two-hour delay. The landing gear of the plane touched down on the Athens runway at 5:30 pm. Exactly at the minute when the ferry detached from the mainland…
Jörg thoroughly used the two hours waiting time on Crete to look for tickets for the first ferry the next morning, to inform the landlady on Andros and to find a place to stay somewhere near the ferry port. And to wave after the plane with the family, which now took off not an hour after, but one before him in Heraklion…
One may rail against excessive use of smartphones in public and rail against Airbnb & Co. but in such situations all these achievements are a boon to the stranded traveler who, armed with a new plan, boarded the plane to Athens with peace of mind.
And this plan worked, my dear Bertolt!
This also left enough time to pick up the ferry tickets the night before and do the traditional shopping at Lidl.
Also different this time than usual: there used to be more
lametta cat food!
But the food we bought was only the starter package for the first few days or food for travel cats still to be housed in the vacation home. Because with the last food order for S., which was again made through the country store on Andros, Jörg had also put aside a stock for himself.
The next morning then the crossing to Andros – without further incidents and with strict corona management, because also in the inner-Greek ferry service one may enter the ship’s planks only inoculated, tested or recovered and with mask.
In Gavrio then a special goal!
Long worked together with the Greeks on it, but so far only seen on photos. But then personally before it to stand, was already an elevating moment.
Even if it is nevertheless actually only a sign, at which most probably carelessly pass, because they want the cats indeed nothing bad, but are also not interested in it.
But these with permission of the municipality of Andros attached signs, which identify the feeding station as publicly tolerated, are to offer the strays a little more protection against attacks.
Now, however, not long held up, but first of all off into the vacation apartment – with warm welcome by the landlady! She is currently also on Andros and lives in the second apartment in the house. She and her family have known the Andros project since Marie’s very first trip in April 2017; this accommodation has become a base camp, so to speak, for very many of the subsequent trips.
After a short breather, dropping luggage and shopping, we didn’t go to the feeders despite all the longing for the cats. It was already noon and the heat was just too oppressive for any whiskers to be found there.
It offered itself therefore directly a visit with S.. Perfectly timed by Jörg – exactly at lunch with him with the door into the house, and thus thanks to Greek hospitality immediately invited to the table!
As nice as the reunion was, the table talk with S. was partly sad…
Because shortly before, two of his – and thus our – cats fell victim to traffic: Paddy and Thea. Both just over a year old and spayed only in August and October of the previous year, respectively, they should have lived long, well-cared-for lives.
A little comfort and distraction offered then the tour on the property, on which S. and Jörg were accompanied or at least eyed by many of the cats living there. So here now a first flood of pictures:
Recently, three kittens were collected again at feeding site 1 and brought to S..
They were rejected by their mother, but were much too young to live independently.
Tuppes, who went a few days later also over the Rainbow Bridge.
It hurts once again especially to look at this relaxed moment on the day of arrival, when we did not yet know what should happen three days later.
However, we keep the little one with this picture as a content and relaxed tomcat in memory…
After visiting S., Jörg presented himself at the country store where we placed the last two feed orders, and picked up his reserved feed: 72 cans of 810 grams each. More than enough for a week of feeding! But what’s left over, S. gets as a parting gift anyway.
In preparation for the planned travel cats, Jörg also immediately bought a large bag of clumping litter – cheap and qualitatively even better than the otherwise pre-purchased litter.
During the past trips always only dran vorbeigefahren and hardly perceived, the country store actually turned out to be respectable building and garden market in the „Aunt Emma“ style, where there is pretty much everything in the smallest space, from small bags of vegetable seeds and various plants to animal supplies to large rainwater storage tanks and other building materials. And what is not available, is just ordered.
Accordingly, the store is full, which meant that first had to go in search of the pallets and Faktotum Dimitri then had the honorable task to drag out the stairs behind wire fence rolls and various packages and pack Jörg directly into the trunk. There service is still written large!
Exhausted from watching and since it was still much too early for the evening feeding round and also crispy hot, Jörg took a refreshment break on the beach.
A few years ago, „Paralía tis griás to pídima“ was still an insider tip on Andros. But as it goes with insider tips – in the meantime the small beach is overcrowded with locals, especially in summer. Nevertheless, it is always a pleasure for eye and body to descend the slope from the parking lot, to walk a little bit more, and then to glide into the wonderfully clear and pleasantly warm Mediterranean Sea, to be carried by the water and to be pampered by the sun.
Always impressive – the simple, brilliant white of Greek buildings against an infinitely deep blue sky!
In the meantime, the time had come to visit the three feeding stations and to see „our“ andros cats again.
Although we always get photos from the Greeks, the first visit is still exciting every time! Who will actually show up? Are there any new additions? Are they all still so trusting? Are they healthy or does who snuffle?
Chapter 2: News from the feeders and a few neutering cats.
The evening of the first day on Andros had arrived. Time, then, to finally visit the three feeding sites.
Feeding Site 2
There was already a lot of activity here, many of the cats living there let themselves be seen.
Hopped right in front of the lens:
There were also two new arrivals.
Unfortunately, they were to be seen during the whole trip only on this evening.
Only the right tomcat with the distinctive middle parting let himself be seen once, twice, but unfortunately very far away to disappear again even at the slightest breeze.
After the whole gang let the contents of the first food cans disappear gratefully smacking in their stomachs, the traveler was drawn further to…
Feeding Site 3
That spot there has dwindled over time to a regular crew of Timos, Socrates and Miss Meier.
That Socrates holds this feeding site the loyalty, pleased the traveler especially.
Let’s be honest: As much as all Andros cats are close to our hearts and we want the best for all – it’s like at home with their own cats. There is always one or the other, which is particularly close to one, which gets perhaps a treat here or a scratch there more than the others.
And Socrates is Jörg’s special favorite. But what wonder – with such a Schmusebacke!
Who also stopped by was the little unneutered cat that has been living there since last August but is not always seen.
The traveler mentally noted her on the neutering list and hoped she would feel like making a trip to the vet the next morning.
We then moved on to…
Feeding Site 1
Astonished and disillusioned, Jörg stood alone in the open.
Only a food dispenser and also here the sign initiated by us were present except him. As well as 12 cans of milk. On the one hand, a very good sign that there are locals who donate something at a feeding station that now exists with the permission of the municipality. On the other hand, milk is such a thing…
Undaunted, Jörg nevertheless rattled the food cans.
The sound of the cans was followed by Dimitri.
At a safe distance, an unneutered, skinny male cat, who had not been seen before, paused.
And two of the four kittens, who, according to S., have also been living there for a short time, appeared.
Here, once again, is the skinny tomcat blatantly showing off his need for neutering.
And at the same time, you can see in this photo the answer to the question of why there was almost nothing going on at this feeding site.
It’s a garbage dump, and the experienced traveler wasn’t surprised at first to see someone park a junk car there. The motorhome on the left in the picture was put into this category by Jörg. Judging by the exterior, it was only held together by habit and rust. Strange only that it had a Dutch license plate.
But obviously the mobile ruin was still inhabited, because a young couple of the type „dropout hippie with dreadlocks“ and a Rottweiler got out of it, which first frolicked happily on the meadow behind the feeding station.
So it was clear that no cat would voluntarily show itself there; and who knows how long they had been standing there.
These were, of course, completely disillusioning prospects for this feeder, and the traveler ended the day very thoughtful.
The next morning, however, delighted the traveler again with much hustle and bustle at…
Feeding Site 2
Some more cats did the honors or presented themselves a bit more photogenic than yesterday:
Data demonstrates the perfect cat morning:
Next up was the…
Private Feeding Site at S.
On the one hand, it was planned to collect a cat for neutering there and, on the other hand, to drive together with S. to the other feeding sites to catch unneutered cats.
But first there was a photographic hunt for cats that didn’t feel like greeting the traveller yesterday.
Luck was with the traveller – at the two feeding sites the unneutered cats seen yesterday could be caught quite quickly:
Despite the camper van and its occupants at feeding site 1, Thorin showed himself.
So there was hope that more cats would find their way back to their feeding site after all.
Thus in a somewhat more cheerful mood again, Jörg set off with his travel group…
…which then also stayed together at the vet.
Let’s let the three of them sleep it off and quietly slip out of this chapter….
Chapter 3: The traveller takes it easy (due to the lack of neutering cats) and eats his way through the locals.
Our three neutered cats have now slept in and are returning.
Perla was first put by S. in one of his cages for observation, so that we can be sure that everything is healing well before she is allowed to romp around outside again.
A neutering operation is something bigger for female cats.
Faced with the transport box with a cat in it, Samson preferred to beat the bushes.
You will never know!
The three kittens, on the other hand, curiously eye their new cage neighbour.
Klausi also spent the night in his box in the holiday home.
Amelie was placed in the so-called winter garden in the holiday home, which we also like to use for accommodating travelling cats.
She is also to be observed there for two days.
In the meantime, everything is running routinely again. The feeding sites are visited, and parasite medication and worming tablets are now being distributed to those present.
The weekend is just around the corner, so Jörg is on the lookout for more neutering candidates at the beginning, because the vet does not work on Sundays, of course, and on Saturday there was an announcement to show up by 10:00 at the latest due to private celebrations. So not to join in the celebrations, but to deliver the cats…
Unfortunately, an unneutered cat was nowhere to be seen on Saturday morning.
Feeding Site 1
There was a small glimmer of hope here after the junk mobile and its occupants were apparently still able to get away from there under their own power.
In the village, not far from the feeding site, Jörg ran across a cat that looked very familiar and then even followed him!
Feeding Site 2
Feeding Site 3
Apart from the regular crew, who are still waiting for Amelie’s return, a hitherto unseen colourful beauty appeared in the distance in the evening.
Judging by the three-coloured coat, it would have to be a girl.
The left ear, in any case, is still unmarked.
Visit at G.
As you know, we have been in contact with a local on the other side of the island since autumn 2020. Not very long yet, but all the more intensive. G. is someone who doesn’t wait for someone to come from Germany, but took the reins himself after the first joint castration campaign in October 2020.
As soon as he has cats to neuter, he contacts us and, with our permission, takes care of everything himself.
In this way, sixteen cats have already been neutered in the short time we have known him.
This initiative is something we also want to achieve on Andros. Therefore, it is even more important to stay in contact with such people – and that is why Jörg and G. arranged to meet on Sunday.
G. runs several holiday homes, and in one he lives himself with his parents. Jörg arrived at his house in the early afternoon – again just when the family was about to have lunch. So the traveller found himself together with several of the cats living there in the large kitchen, to be served with the greatest hospitality.
This is what it looked like under the table: The red one in the back is Chico, the one in front Rico. The tigress on the left is Nele and Felis is on the right.
The kitchen door is guarded by Cadis (left) and Mister Barbarossa Meier (right).
Cadis has mastered the art of hypnotising dinner guests:
„You are completely relaaaaaxed… your arm becomes very heaaaaavy… your hand sinks dooooown… with something tasty between your fingers…“
„Whaaaat? You don’t want me to beg?“
„I’m not! You’ll give me something voluntarily, won’t you?“
A few more snapshots:
After food and drink and friendly conversations, toasting to further cooperation, Jörg made his way home.
In the meantime, one of the biggest heat waves of the last decades was rolling over southern Europe, so cooling down was necessary. It was practical that Jörg at some point made a map of the beaches on Andros. After all, there are 38 beaches (and they are certainly not all of them) on an island that is only about two-fifths the size of Berlin. Surely there is something to discover!
This time it was Paraliá Pláka. „Pláka“ means slab or tombstone. The latter could be a reference to the cars that have to struggle along this road for almost four kilometres from a main road to the beach:
The traveller ended the evening in his favourite restaurant. Rich Greek cuisine with the freshest ingredients! Jörg knows the latter so well because the restaurant owner has his garden directly behind the holiday home. And every day between 7 and 8 o’clock in the morning, he rattles along on his moped to feed the chickens and harvest the vegetables for the day.
By now, people already know each other, which is associated with warm greetings on both sides as soon as they see each other. Moreover, the traveller is also served by the boss himself in the restaurant.
As always, there are guests at the table. This time again an old acquaintance who lives in the village: Christa II.
Her ears, as is unfortunately so often the case with white cats, do not look very good. However, this was not the case last year when Lavinia met her, as you can see here.
We learned the following from our Greek friends who also know Christa II: She used to live with a shopkeeper in the village and was looked after there. Unfortunately, the shop was closed, the woman moved away and since then no one has taken care of Christa II. With this, she has apparently also lost her saving shelter from the hot Greek sun.
She could therefore become one of the next travel candidates, so we asked the Greeks to catch her and keep her with them until the next trip. So far, however, Christa II has not been seen again.
After dinner, a short walk through the town, and both the day and this chapter come to an end.
Chapter 4: Visit at H. & I.
The advantage of a retrospective travelogue: the author can jump back and forth with artistic freedom as he pleases. For before Jörg asked G., a local, to have dinner with him, a visit to H. & I. was on the agenda. Due to the flood of pictures, however, that is enough for a separate chapter.
So here’s just a quick look at the…
Feeding site 1
We’ll also take a quick look here:
Feeding site 2
Because Jörg found it very touching what awaited him there! The cats have so quickly regained trust in him that he is even picked up and accompanied on the way from the car park to the feeding station!
But they also know that there will be plenty to eat first.
But now let’s go to H. & I.!
It is summer and tourism is fortunately picking up again, which is also important for our two friends, because they live to no small extent from holiday guests in the villages. That’s why only one of them was present, but that didn’t detract from the cordiality.
The two of them are known to be very active and take care of cats in the entire region there. It is simply not possible to see everything! This visit was therefore aimed at the feeding stations in a village in the west of the island.
On one of the next trips, there will certainly be pictures of the places in the wider surroundings.
However, the day was already far advanced, so that many cats were still waiting for their food, but not all of them because of the heat.
But H. & I. wouldn’t be who they are if they hadn’t had a solution for this! The traveller was met in the evening by a series of pictures of cats, which then showed themselves again.
So now we can show quite a few of our cats here – and H. & I. know them all by name despite the crowd!
I. has created a small garden behind her house.
All their cats find a final resting place there. Also our Hanni is now sleeping there.
In the village itself, there is a picturesque feeding station on the way to the centre with its many tavernas. Especially in the summer heat, the shady trees and the little streams that ripple along the edge are a blessing!
In this beautiful place lives the no less beautiful Snowball.
Finally, two views of the town, …
… … and already it was time to say goodbye to two tireless, committed animal welfare activists who cannot castrate so many cats during the high tourist season.
But they hinted: When autumn comes, but then…!
This report should also end with a visit to another beach. Jörg had chosen „Paraliá Apothíkes“. The view on Google Maps promised quiet relaxation – another bad road and at the end a small bay as an extension of a valley.
At the bottom, the „surprise“ – full to bursting, umbrellas, sunbeds and a beach bar with Rambazamba.
But further up the gravel road it was quiet again, and the view magnificent.
Chapter 5: Travelling cats and farewell rounds.
How quickly time flies! The journey is already drawing to a close, the last visits to the feeding sites are coming up.
Three cats who are travelling with us to Germany this time have taken up temporary quarters in the holiday home. This time they are the travelling cats Billy, Kitty and Robin.
Although Billy is unfortunately no longer with us, we would like to remember him here once again.
Little Billy, who would have had no chance of surviving at a feeding site because of his megacolon, was cared for by our Greek partner A. until this trip.
In the holiday home he moved into the „winter garden“. Unfortunately, he was very shy but not aggressive and retreated into a corner most of the time. He ate his food, many small portions a day because of the megacolon.
Kitty, one of H. & I.’s blind girls (who, as it turned out in the meantime, still has some vision), took up quarters in the bathroom.
The little whirlwind, who reminded Jörg very much of Silas, the travel cat from October 2020, nevertheless managed to escape every now and then and put himself in the limelight with a „Hello, here I am!“.
Thanks to her endlessly long, thin, curled tail, Jörg gave her the nickname „Marsupilami“.
She travelled with us because her right eye had been removed but the area kept swelling up. In preparation for the trip, H. & I. gave her prednisolone and Jörg continued the treatment. Fortunately, this at least led to the swelling being almost completely gone by the day of departure. But this cannot be a permanent state. Something is still wrong, and specialists in Germany are to investigate this.
Robin is an old acquaintance from feeding site 1, who was first seen there in 2017 and neutered. Unfortunately, his eyesight deteriorated more and more over time. And when he suffered from an abscess this year, he was also collected by A. and treated by the island vet. Now it was also time for him to leave and receive medical care in Germany.
Here’s a photo from June 2018. Robin seemed to have a subscription to abscesses, and he’s always been quite a lovely lad.
Marie wrote about this photo: „Robin let himself be lifted into the box in a completely professional manner – he is a very friendly cat, cuddly with people, social with conspecifics, Eleni’s son. The abscess is about to be treated, the fat cheek will be history.“
As the conservatory and the bathroom were occupied, Robin’s giardia test was negative and he is a cuddly little fellow, he had the privilege of occupying the glazed extension to the bedroom (quasi „conservatory number 2“).
And if necessary, logically always, to use the bed as well.
Everything worked without a hitch. After a careful orientation round, he knew where the food and toilet were, used the latter quite well and made himself known by mewing when he felt like some attention.
This is what it looked like most of the time (please turn on the sound – especially during the second half of the film):
Then it was time for the last tours to the three feeding sites.
Feeding Site 1
A nice group picture: below Melina, Medea, Dimitri, and Hyazinth. Above, Klausi is stretched out flat in his nap.
Melina and Dimitri.
Medea is friendly to everyone! Always nice to see how social these strays are with each other!
Klausi is doing great!
Here Klausi can be seen in all his elegance and grace:
Feeding Site 2
Feeding Site 3
Here, the small cast and a surprise guest were present for the farewell.
Amelie did not reappear after her release. This is not unusual. After all, the capture and subsequent observation in the holiday home makes the feeding site an unsafe place from the cat’s point of view.
Besides, Amelie was only photographed sporadically in the past. Either she doesn’t come regularly or she is always very cautious. But it would still have been nice to see her again.
A pleasant addendum: Our friend A. (2) saw her a few days later, when unfortunately, she had neither mobile phone nor camera with her. But on August 31st everything fits.
Chapter 6: Return journey with obstacles.
Before the final departure, of course, S. and his cats were visited to give them the many leftover tins of food.
However, before S. and Jörg looked around the property for the cats that had come by to say goodbye, they chatted about the cats that had recently become victims of road traffic. More about that later.
In this context, they also reviewed those who had not been seen for a long time, because S. keeps a list of all his cats: when they came to him, whether they left for Germany or what else happened to them.
Normally, of course, we find out when something happens to a cat. But information can also get lost – it’s good that this list exists. Unfortunately, Jörg also heard that Phoenix fell ill and died in January of this year.
The cheerful hustle and bustle in the courtyard was a little comforting…
In the foreground you can see Tayo. To the right of Tayo lies Sia.
Unfortunately, we must once again share sad news. When Jörg turned on his cell phone again after landing in Berlin, the first thing he read was a message from S., who found Sia as another victim on the street on the same day in the morning.
She was neutered in July 2020 and lived in the big cat group with S.
Farewell to the Mediterranean and return to the mainland
After all the experiences of a week on Andros, it did the traveler good to pause once again. This time directly on the beach in the place of his accommodation.
The next morning we took the ferry back to the Greek mainland.
If you listen closely, you can hear Robin mewing:
Inside in the air-conditioned area, however, it was more pleasant.
Forest fires, rebooking – excitement to the end…
Who remembers: the heat wave ensured that many forest fires also broke out in Greece in early August. Besides quite a few islands (fortunately not Andros) Athens was also affected. Already in the days before Jörg looked constantly into the cell phone, whether the return flight takes place as planned or whether even the airport stops its operation.
Thankfully, that was not the case. The terrible fires devastated the suburbs of northwestern Athens, but the airport is located just on the other, southeastern end of the metropolis and was able to remain open without restriction.
So it was then a relaxed, short ride from the ferry port to the accommodation near the airport. Spooky, though, the pale, yellow sunlight that managed with difficulty to penetrate through the smoke-shrouded sky.
With that, the rest of the plan seemed perfect:
In the accommodation set up the camp and unpack only the most necessary, because against 4:00 o’clock on the next day was already announced again to get up. After all, 3 cats with luggage had to be checked in and checked – for a flight shortly after 8:00.
So far so good, but remember Bertolt Brecht in the first chapter…
The vacation apartment, which all Andros travelers always liked to book and whose landlord therefore already knows us very well, was unfortunately not free this time. The new accommodation booked the traveler therefore in good time before in Germany suitable for the needs: Pets allowed and two bathrooms (this is simply more comfortable when several cats travel with). It was extra again schritlich clarified that cats are also pets. Most landlords think there rather only of a dog.
When the keys were handed over, only one bathroom was shown. When asked, it was explained that there would be a second, but not with only one person! When the landlady had to realize that she had rented out an entire apartment and was paid for it, she grumblingly unlocked the second bathroom.
Happily, smartphone and Airbnb helped here as well. After a few minutes found another vacation home, described the problem and announced a person with three cats. A brief query from the landlord was all: „OK, can you be there in half an hour?“
Jörg could and met another extremely cordial host, now actually unpacked his things, and also the travel cats finally had peace. A beautiful view and an ice-cold „Mythos“ beer then soothed the traveler’s mind.
In honor of the Greeks, it should be said that Jörg has never been disappointed by Greek hospitality, both in all vacations and Andros trips! The ausgetickte landlady was however very obviously no native Greek, but from another European country immigrated.
The fact that in the apartment then only a maximum of two large electrical appliances such as refrigerator and one of each of the two air conditioners could be operated at the same time without the fuse blowing out, was only due to the generally edge-stitched infrastructure in southern Europe.
Same that around midnight, the whole neighborhood was plunged into night blackness due to power outages. Unpalatable prospects for the traveler that possibly his and the cats departure would be in the early morning hour only in the glow of the cell phone light.
But at about 2:00 a.m., Jörg heard the power come back on. Very many houses have namely alarm systems, which reset themselves after a power failure first of all and give short warning sounds of itself. But the open-air concert „Cacophony of the big city“ fortunately lasted only a few seconds.
Robin did not contest all this at all. The main thing was that he had a bed.
The rest of the trip was fortunately unspectacular. The rental car was placed in front of the office container for a night-weary employee, check-in and security checks have become routine and, with enough time to spare, stress-free. Robin and Billy had booked seats in the cargo hold. Kitty traveled along in the cabin – a maximum of 8 kilograms including packaging is allowed, Kitty and bag weighed in at 3.4 kilograms (of which the bag alone weighed 1.1 kilograms…).
The flight was over punctual and the travel cats sniffed on 6 August still before 11:00 o’clock the much-sung Berlin air.
Quickly brought the cats to the foster home or to the handover for the onward journey, …
… and then this Andros journey was also over for Jörg.
He had a souvenir for the neighbor cat Pepi: the „Greek Cat Newspaper“ in the form of a carrier bag scented by Kitty.
To conclude the travelogue, here are a few personal thoughts from the traveler:
„So few castrations – I never knew that before. We Andros travelers, Lavinia and I that is, and Marie before us, were actually used to double digits per trip. Well, there were a few more new additions at the feeders. But even if they hadn’t been so extremely shy, it would have been enough for maybe only three more neuterings. Other than that, I saw a few kittens that were still too small, of course.
Overall, there were significantly fewer new additions at the feeders.
In the forums there were different word messages to this. On the sentence in the trip report: ‚Unfortunately, an unneutered cat could not be seen anywhere on Saturday morning.‘ wrote a user the most appropriate response for me:
‚Kinners, that’s the best sentence in the whole report. That’s where you guys wanted to go.‘
Yes, that is exactly what we want to achieve – in addition to a regular feed supply! That there is no more uncontrolled multiplication at the feeding stations and that the misery pictures from 2017, when the Andros project started, belong forever to the past.
And not just at ‚our‘ three feeding stations, but beyond. At local animal welfare activists like H. & I., who have been active for a long time and whom we can support with spay/neuter sponsorships. But also with locals like G., who feed cats at their house and have recognized the problem when many un-neutered cats gather together.
Unfortunately, in such a short time since May, we have lost four of ‚our‘ cats to road kill. This leaves us in the inner circle of the club dismayed, saddened and also a little perplexed.
I personally have no clear explanation for this. Yes, there have been more and more cats living with S. over time (almost forty by now), all of which are also outdoor cats and thus can get into this danger.
Whether the traffic increased? I don’t know, but I don’t have the impression – at least not due to tourism.
That someone deliberately hunts S.‘ cats and waits until one shows up on the street, I do not believe for my person.
A very personal impression I have gained by now numerous vacation and Andros travels, however: Many Greeks away from the urban centers in areas with less traffic are extremely little foresighted drivers and their vehicles in a frighteningly unsafe condition; cloudy headlights and failed lighting not uncommon. The biennial check-up at the KTEO (the ‚Greek TÜV‘) is regularly skipped, as inspections almost never take place. The often run-down road condition does the rest. The narrow, curvy lanes as well – several times cars came half on my lane to avoid me at the last moment. There still to pay attention to small animals or to see them at night at all, exceeds with many simply their possibilities.
And also on Andros, as unfortunately everywhere, there will be many people who are simply indifferent to an animal on the street.
Of course, none of this is an excuse for running over animals. But I think it’s just, unfortunately, a variety of reasons why animals live dangerously on the roads of Andros.“