We, Sheila and Richard, moved out here from the UK in December 2007 after acquiring an old rundown farmhouse. We dreamed of a retirement where we'd be tending a vineyard, enjoying the scenery and, of course,
the Italian food and wine - nothing could be more different!.....
but no regrets!
I had many holidays here in Parodi Ligure spanning 10 years, where I always fed the village cats, and in my absence, I left money for others to continue doing this. This village is no different from any other European villages - in the summer, holiday makers throw scraps of food for the feral cats, but once October arrives and the population dwindles to a handful of families, the cats suffer, starve and catch diseases. This means that they generally lead (if they survive) very sad lives.
Since we came to live here, I have diligently fed and looked after the feral population each and every night. People started to know of my love of animals so I began to get phone calls: an abandoned kitty here, a hurt cat
there, a Mum and kittens about to be killed there, and so on and so on.
I have used all of my savings sterilising all of my cats and have now started a program to sterilise the village feral cats.
Nearly 5 years later, I have over 60 members in my ever-growing family and I feed a further 20 cats each evening in the village.
SOMETHING has to be done
For the last 2 years I have had the odd stall on a market in a neighbouring town where I have sold my possessions and goods donated by the villagers who agreed that something had to be done. I pay out of my pocket for the sterilizing of village cats. Since doing a few stalls I managed to raise money to go towards this. This year, 6 stalls later, I aim to sterilise a further 10 (at least) - the population has to be halted!
I have sold virtually all of my antiques and valuable possessions, but
I need financial help now. It's not just the sacks of food that need
to be paid for, I also need to buy medicines, worming and flea treatments, etc. Every cat that is sterilised is also treated for worms and fleas - it costs €90 for a complete treatment.
Also I am trying to convert the top half of a disused barn for their use..the roof leaks badly...so funds desperatly needed for this! Thank you!