This is the story of an Ibiza street cat and how much involvement and influence the Care 4 Cats Charity has had on her life.
In September 2013 we received a report and photograph of a very young cat hanging around The Ocean Beach Club in Sant Antonio and people were worried about its welfare, so one of our volunteers was sent out to investigate.
After the third visit the cat was seen and approached. It appeared to be about 3 months old, healthy, looked well fed and was reasonably friendly. Talking to staff within the Club the volunteer was told that the cat had been about since a small kitten and lived on the streets. They fed it and cared for it but were worried what would happen to it once the club closed at the end of the month. A couple of the staff asked that the Charity take the cat and find him a good home. The Manager, however, was adamant that he was his cat and he would take care of him all winter, being a permanent resident. Only a short time after the Club had closed for the season the volunteer bumped into the Manager and was informed that the cat had gone missing and not been seen for a few weeks. Despite a few visits to the area the volunteer didn’t see the cat again.
In March 2014 we received another photograph and a message from someone walking past The Hawaii Hotel, not too far from The Ocean Beach Club. This time they were asking us to go and look at a very heavily pregnant cat.
The hotel said that he cat had been living in their underground carpark and getting scraps of food from workers and the odd guest. Armed with trap and cage the Volunteer soon located the cat and with the help of a few sardines the cat was trapped, transferred to cage and on her way to the vet to be steralised. The policy of the Charity has always been to TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return) feral cats. Sometimes this includes pregnant cats. The hotel said they would tolerate the cat if it was neutered and brought back but they could not cope with any kittens. However, this cat was anything but feral and she was very heavily pregnant.
Two volunteers took her to the vet who scanned her abdomen to try and ascertain how big the kittens were. The cat was so friendly she rolled over onto her back and quite enjoyed the gentle stroking movement of the scanner across her stomach. The vets concluded that the birth was imminent and, particularly as she was so friendly, they were unwilling to operate. So what do we do with a very pregnant cat when we have no cattery or out own animal shelter? We take her home. Many of our volunteers also foster cats and kittens within their own homes until they are ready to be adopted. In this case it was not going to be a matter of just a few days or weeks. This was going to be a few months.
With two children and a few other cats in her apartment the fostering volunteer made room to accommodate the pregnant mum in her own bedroom, away from noise and threats and provided a safe and quiet environment for her. This, of course, was the first time that the cat had been confined and she was naturally restless. A couple of boxes were prepared and placed in different parts of the room so that she could choose the most comfortable spot to have her litter. The volunteer’s 10 year old daughter named her Bonnie and spent many hours sitting on the bed, stroking her.
The following Sunday was UK Mother’s Day and at 6.00 am Bonnie decided to give birth on the still occupied double bed. The soft mewing and dampness of the bed awoke our volunteer who discovered the first kitten being cleaned by mum. She woke her daughter to watch the next four being born. After allowing her to stay on the bed for the morning, the proud mum and five very healthy kittens were placed in one of the boxes and all were content.
Over the next few days they grew rapidly and even at that young age began to develop their own personalities.
All too soon they were out of their box, running around and generally causing chaos in the bedroom. By the age of three to four weeks they started to eat solid food. They grew rapidly and it wasn’t long before they needed to be offered up for adoption. They were still too young to leave their mother but we wanted to be sure we had wonderful homes arranged for them to go to once they were of the right age. Their photos appeared on the Care 4 Cats Facebook page and it didn’t take long for people to offer to adopt them. And as for Bonnie…
Street cat Bonnie got her new home…
A little while ago a lovely German family wanted to adopt one of our young cats. We made all the arrangements for them and the cat flew out of Ibiza to a new life. Having seen this lovely cat, which looked very similar to Bonnie, some friends of the family in Germany decided that, if possible, they would like to do the same. So the process of arranging for Bonnie, the Ibiza Street Cat to start a new life in Germany began.
Initially she was steralised. Following that she was given all her vaccinations including Rabies. She was also microchipped and finally issued with a full passport.
Next we had to find a kind holidaymaker flying back to the right airport in Germany who would be prepared to take her with them. She would travel on their ticket and fly in the cabin with them. We are fortunate in that we have a wonderful volunteer who dedicates many, many hours to cat and kitten adoption and she has been responsible for finding so many loving homes.
She also finds the homes abroad and somehow always manages to locate a tourist willing to escort the cat on its journey. The number of people wanting to adopt abroad is increasing and it is really relatively simple to send an animal from Ibiza to any European country with the exception of the UK who make it almost viably impossible financially. We are still trying to discover why.
So departure day arrives for Bonnie and whilst she is happy that she is heading for a wonderful new life it is not without some sadness that the volunteer and her family prepare her and take her to the airport. Had she been happy within the confines of an apartment she would have stayed as part of the family but she needed a home with access to the outside world.
Bonnie and her passport were handed over to the kind travellers at the airport and she said her final goodbye to Ibiza.
It has been an emotional journey from start to finish and not all have such a happy ending. We are happy to report that she arrived in Germany safely, was met there by her new owners and they have already sent us a few photos of her from Germany.
We wish her a very happy life and we are glad to have been a part of it.
Thank you to the wonderful people who adopted her and those that adopted her kittens. We could not do what we do without you.