A British pensioner and avid animal lover who moved to the seaside area of Pervolia in Larnaca 11 years ago spends her days catching and neutering feral cats, the island-wide population of which greatly outnumbers we humans.
Lynne West, dubbed ‘the crazy lady’ of the neighborhood as she begins her stray cat-catching conquests with the first light of day, told the Sunday Mail that this is a small price to pay in view of the greater importance of her efforts.
Around eight years ago, Lynn launched a Facebook page called Cans for Cats – Larnaca, to call on the public to donate any items made of aluminum – cans, tin foil, cat food sachets, foil containers and some of the small cat food tins, even old sunbeds – which she crushes and sells, before using the raised money to pay for cat spaying operations.
So far,Lynn, with the help of Makis from Pogos Snack Bar and many others who helped to trap the cats, neutered about 250 cats. The contribution of her husband, who worked as a builder in the UK, has also been vital, she said, as he has so far built 10 cat trapping cages and two aluminum crushing machines, among other things.
“The importance of the project is twofold,” Lynn said, “on the one hand, it’s good for the planet because we use the aluminum people have thrown away and would otherwise end up in landfills is reused, and on the other hand, we spay feral cats.”
In the summer months, Lynn collects around 60 bags of cans a week which raises roughly enough for the spaying of two cats.
While Lynn looks after 10 of her own cats and two dogs which she brought with her from the UK, she explains that returning the cats to the location where they were caught ensures that the now-neutered cats can successfully find food and take care of themselves.
Against the commonly accepted assumption that cat spaying is effective if limited to female cats, Lynn said that she spays and neuters both male and female cats.
“When un-spayed boys are left with a bunch of neutered girls, they get extremely frustrated, and end up badly injuring or even killing the females, so it’s essential that feral cats are spayed regardless of their sex,” Lynn explained.
In addition to collecting cans from restaurants in her area, which have agreed to set them aside for her cause, Lynn has set up six drop-off points for the general public in Larnaca and Oroklini.
“We’re always looking for more people to save cans or anything aluminum for us and deliver them to the drop-off points,” she said. To test if something is aluminum, Lynn suggests that a magnet is placed on the item, and if the magnet sticks then it’s not aluminum, if it doesn’t then it is.
The designated drop-off points for Cans for Cats – Larnaca are Larnaca’s Zopiros Veterinary Clinic, Pogos Snack Bar in Pervolia, the Larnaca thrift store, as well as West’s home in Pervolia and the home of another person in Oroklini, details for which the public can find by calling Lynn on 97692293.
Visit the Cans for Cats Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Cans-for-Cats-Larnaca-1482482232001669/