Katarina moved to the medina of Fez in the summer of 2014. Immediately she saw the need to help the medina cats which lived on her street and her neighborhood. One of them was Pusinka, a calico mother who would give birth to kittens every three to four months. Pusinka and the other cats would get used to being regularly fed and given water, and the group of hungry felines would continue to grow. Unable to do more than the feeding, Katarina would always have a bag of dry food with her when walking in the medina.
The initiative Felines in the Medina came with her first foster kitten. The kitten was left in Katarina’s closet with mother nowhere to be found. After she failed to find a better alternative, Katarina decided to foster Salma and provide the neonatal care that the little kitten needed. That included bottle feeding, help discharge, applying anti-flea products, etc. Despite all the best care, little Salma died about two weeks after she was rescued. This didn’t stop Katarina, however. Later, two three-week-old kittens were found by the dumpster, with two of their siblings already dead. Fassyi and Tétouane, as they were named, were determined to survive, however. They were bottle-fed for two more weeks before being weaned unto solid food. Another two babies were rescued to join the pack – girl Zara and Ghizlane. The first small nursery was established so that more kittens could come and receive the care they desperately need.
The greatest challenge for Katarina, who was last year joined in her efforts by her husband and a small team of volunteers, is the adoption of older kittens. The medina of Fes is full of stray cats and most people are not used to having a pet in their house. Some of them care for the feline creatures and provide food for them on the street, most would not, however, adopt an animal. The few of those who wanted to adopt have already done so and new families for the available kittens are hard to find.
The conditions of living in the streets are not ideal for cats. Besides the lack of comfort, there is a lack of proper nourishment as many people feeding the cats would only give them leftovers of their own plant-based diet. Cats suffer from malnourishment as much as they suffer from thirst, especially in the summer months. Injured and ill felines remain on the street without any support and medical attention. TNR is practically non-existent. While animal torture may not be rampant as it is in some other countries, cats do receive bad treatment from youngsters who throw stones at them or abuse them in other ways.
LEARN MORE ABOUT FELINES OF THE MEDINA
How you can help Felines of the medina
Katarina and her team of volunteers are currently establishing a cat sanctuary where cats can live after they are weaned. The sanctuary will provide food and water, as well as basic medical care for injured and sick cats. Kittens fostered in the sanctuary will likewise receive their vaccinations, de-worming medicine, and thus be open for adoption. With the time, Katarina wants to run a TNR program which will help regulate the cat population in the medina.
Here are the monthly costs of Felines of the Medina:
• cat sanctuary rental 2000 MAD ~ 200€ ~ 230 U$
• salary for one full-time worker 2500 MAD ~ 250€ ~ 300 U$
• costs for water and electricity 1500 MAD ~ 150€ ~ 180 U$
• costs for dry cat food 2500 MAD ~ 250€ ~ 300 U$
• cost for medications (dewormers, anti-flea products) 1500 MAD ~ 150€ ~ 180 U$