If you were born a cat in the ancient tourist town of Lamu, Kenya, in the COVID-19 era, this would be the sad pattern, the inescapable reality, of your life…
You will watch your brothers and sisters die because your mother is too weak to feed you all. As soon as you are weaned, you will have to fend for yourself starting at about eight weeks of age - which means foraging in garbage dumps and open sewers, struggling for scraps along with the estimated 8,000 other cats there.
Pretty soon, you will get sick and die.
That's it, that's your life.
Lamu street cats are born and die, never knowing love.
COVID-19 has turned an awful situation into a CATastrophe!
Tourists are a major income source for the town, but COVID-19 travel restrictions have brought about a collapse in tourism.
Tourists who used to help the cats are no longer there to do so, and the cats get no help from the government. The result: a deadly population explosion and massive suffering.
The poor kittens are born into a world without hope.
Few make it to adulthood. Cats and kittens are routinely found dead throughout the town. Their rigid bodies are thoughtlessly kicked to one side and left for days to putrefy in the intensely hot sun.
Some of the pictures we took are so horrible that we could not face sharing them with you. No animal deserves this fate. As cat lovers, it hits us particularly hard because, like you, we love these innocent creatures. One thing is certain: without our help, the street cats of Lamu will never have a chance.
This is a nightmare that can end. We need to urgently raise $5,000 (£3,600) to create a Trap, Neuter and Return program (TNR) to end the sad and shameful cycle of birth, disease and death for cats.
Lamu is an island reachable only by boat, which means that if we can get the situation under control, with routine management by our partner, the Kenyan Society for Animals (KSPCA), it will stay under control. Again, there are an estimated 8,000 street cats in tiny Lamu Town.
A local vet and a small group of volunteers have promised to start sterilizations immediately if we can fund the equipment and medicines needed. With your help, we can start to sterilize these cats and stop such a population crisis from happening again.
Please, if you possibly can, donate to Network for Animals today so that the cats can have a better life. As cat lovers, we owe it to help these beautiful creatures who on Lamu live their short lives in unnecessary pain.
Every day of delay means more cats born to lives of despair.
8,000 cats will take some time to sterilize, but the benefits will be immediate - far fewer kittens will be born into a life of certain misery. Your donation will save cat lives!
Cats do not deserve to live in such misery. With your help, we can make things better for them.
Please, help the needy cats of Lamu. It’s the right thing to do.
For the animals,
Brian and Gloria Davies (and Max and Flora!)
Network for Animals
P.S. As if the cats did not have enough to deal with, another peril is the constant threat of being mowed down by speeding motorbikes. Cars are not permitted on the winding labyrinth of Lamu streets, so there are thousands of motorbikes. Any cat who gets in their way is run over. This casual cruelty needs to stop, and we are actively working on an offense punishable by law.