Big event of this year was the publication of my book The Great Sicilian Cat Rescue, which came out in June. It seems it is already achieving my aims in writing this book: many people have contacted me to say how much they are enjoying reading it and that it has raised their awareness of all the work still to be done to help these feral animals. I have also received some donations, which have all gone towards the winter programme of feeding and neutering. There was a great review of the book in the Daily Mail and articles have appeared in magazines including Closer.
As usual, I have received numerous messages from tourists on holiday in Sicily who have found a stray cat or kitten and want to help it. Some of these have been found homes on the island or at least helped with treatment. Jon contacted me about a small white cat, which had followed him home to his holiday apartment. He fell in love with the feline and contacted me asking for advice to bring it back to England. There followed a lengthy process involving my lovely vet Oscar La Manna who is a true friend of ferals. Little Meena stayed at his surgery for the necessary time while Jon, in Brighton, worked out ways of bringing her back. Having discarded flying he decided to fetch her by train and car.
There was a very long wait while Sicilian bureaucracy churned into action and finally Oscar managed to obtain the Pet Passport. Then Jon flew to Catania, picked up Meena and travelled with her to Turin in northern Italy. Here his father met him and they drove the rest of the way home. Meena is now a very happy little cat. I continue to support Elke with her huge colony of cats. This year she took on another five kittens when the owner died and these will be neutered as soon as they are old enough.
A cat lover with a big heart contacted me a few weeks ago, while in Sicily. She is just the person I. needed to meet as she has a whole lot of new ideas for fund raising and we are now working together to launch a campaign. It has always been hard fighting on alone and I am very grateful to have Alexandra’s help.