Cat sanctuary - a second chance at life
With as many cats and kittens I rescued over the years, I needed a new place to settle. Somewhere, where they would have enough room to be themselves and still have the freedom to wander.
But where do you fit (at the time) 110 cats? Slowly, an idea started to form. A part of the kunuku would become a cat sanctuary. So, in the summer of 2017 we moved and couldn't be happier!
At the sanctuary cats are free to roam the land and neighboring kunuku's. We have 132 cats (and counting!) at the time of this article. They have ample places to nap, watering holes with daily fresh water and a big feeding station with daily dry food. I get up at 6:00 am every day to ensure them a breakfast of canned foods, give them cuddles and ensure every one is okay. At breakfast time you can be sure to spot around fifty to sixty cats. After breakfast, most of them set out to play, hunt and sleep. The kunuku is so big that looking for them is a bit like an Easter egg hunt. Each cat has his/her own favorite lounging area and friends tend to stick together for games.
Late afternoon, around 6:00 pm it's dinner time and another batch of canned food is available for them. This is when most cats appear out of every corner to have a bite and ask for cuddles. I check every one and know exactly if one is missing. This is the best time for health checks and administrations of medication, where needed. I know each and every one by their colors, behavior and even meows.
All cats roaming the kunuku have been spayed, neutered and treated for worms and fleas. Our rescue kittens are harder work, to be honest. They need to be bottle-fed every two hours. As you can imagine this is exhausting, but absolutely worth it. All of our cats receive medical attention whenever needed from great vets on the island. It is here that I also need to mention Stichting Dierenhulp Curacao. This foundation dedicates all of their resources to free sterilization of as many animals as possible in order to control the feral population on the island. Please read our about us article for more information on the problems with overpopulation on the island.
As for the future of the cat sanctuary - I hope to build a pallet house (designs are already made) in which I will be able to house myself and rescue cats that need close monitoring. We have met so many generous beneficiaries, volunteers and hope to count on more as time progresses. We need every bit of help available to give the cats a second chance at life and have our dream realized of a community where no cat will ever suffer a feral life again.
If you can help or have any ideas about how to raise funds and awareness to help the cats of Curacao, please email Mariette: firstname.lastname@example.org
A special note of gratitude goes out to one of our most dedicated photographers for capturing each and all of our cats, making them truly shine like stars!
Thank you Sylvia van Dijk with LSvD Photgraphy
Please follow her work on Facebook!
Article first posted on February 11, 2018
Thank you for reading!
Thank you for reading!