Animal Welfare / Chile
(cortesy translation from German)
Since I have a very boring job in administration and wanted to do something useful in my life, I took a two-month break from my work in March / April 2017 to do volunteer work in South America.
As a big cat fan, I naturally chose an animal protection project and became aware of a project to protect street cats in Santiago de Chile through Chile Inside. Without the help of volunteers, this project would not be able to exist because it is funded exclusively by donations and these abandoned animals are dependent on the support of animal lovers and are therefore happy about every committed animal lover who helps to change their lives.
Fortunately, there is a facility that takes care of the stray cats and provides a warm home for the deported, neglected and abused kittens in their care home in the Las Condes district. Adoption events are also regularly organized and take place in the cat café in Santiago, where some street cats have found a loving home. It is a pity that mostly only the baby kittens are adopted, there is hardly any demand for the older, but not less cute cats, so that they usually spend their whole lives in the cat shelter.
It was a great, exciting, happy and educational time for me that I spent in the cat house. My tasks consisted in cleaning the facility, especially brushing the blankets, beds and baskets, feeding and maintaining the facility and of course giving the cats a lot of love and care. Since there is always a lot to do, there is usually not much time for it, so the kittens are particularly happy if you take the time to stroke and cuddle and then immediately start to purr. Even sleeping cats wake up immediately when you stroke them on the head because they don't want to miss the rare attention.
In the day-to-day work I was always accompanied by the cats, they hopped on my back, often three or four crawled on my lap as soon as I sat down and always wanted to be exactly where I wanted to clean. Otherwise, they courted for attention by all means, played with my hair, my fingers, the brush or the bag in which the cat hair was collected, stretched out their paws towards me and wanted to be lifted up or simply sneaked around me to get close to me. They give you so much love and fun, that every day is a highlight and something funny always happens, be it that they knock over entire feed buckets, fall off the scratching post in their sleep, hide in the most impossible places and no longer get free or just fool around and do funny things.
Since no luxury can unfortunately be bought from the donations, the cats only get cheap food every day and unfortunately never enjoy treats at all. So I spoiled the cats with tuna one day a week, a feast day for the fur noses! The toys that I brought with me from Germany were also very popular and you could always see some kitten playing with mice, balls or feather fronds.
Despite working in the cat house, I had enough free time to explore the beautiful city of Santiago with its beautiful parks and the tallest building in South America, the Costanera Center, and to go on trips to the sea. This exciting and eventful time will definitely remain in my memory forever and the many cats, most of whom also have names, will have a place in my heart forever.
I was particularly close to one cat and after the adoption and travel formalities had been completed, little Barnabás was allowed to travel to Germany with me after my volunteer time. In the meantime he has settled in quite well with us and can enjoy his new life, in which he lacks nothing, on the other side of the earth.
The most beautiful souvenir you can imagine!