Easter 2012 - The Villa Cats
We made several visits to Silvana's house on the outskirts of Alghero. The large garden is given over to her own cat colony and her three rescue dogs.
The colony is currently about 25 cats strong along with a few 'visitors' who have simply materialized from the surrounding area. All the cats have been rescues from various locations nearby including the other colonies if they were sick, injured or new arrivals. Two of the dogs, Max and Bertie were found as puppies abandoned in a hedgerow. You can see their story in other chapters. Tasha was rescued from the Church colony area when she was about six years old after having several litters of puppies. Even now Tasha refuses to sleep in her dog house on the veranda, preferring instead the bushes round the garden just like when she was little.
The dogs and cats get on remarkably well. The only slight disagreements usually occur from either food (the dogs love the dry cat food) or attention (everyone wants to be petted at once). The cats have their own cat house in a fenced off area which is supposed to be dog free although Max was most pleased with himself after he dug a hole under the fence (which I blocked off!).
Generally these cats are more socialised than the other colonies. More like a large collection of house cats.
The colony was recently decimated by a nasty bug and this highlights the care needed when moving cats between colonies. A colony will basically develop an immunity to a specific strain of something, in effect protecting it, but carrying the problem. If you then move cats without care between colonies the new location may not have this immunity and hence cats get ill quickly.
Tasha Under Her Bush
Silvana With Her Cats
Leonie And I