Recently, my husband, Joe, and I were on a much needed vacation that included a visit to the city of Barcelona, Spain during their annual city festival, “Merce 2009.” For this festival tons of non-profit groups set up in one of the squares. We wandered around and found groups representing every disease and social problem imaginable. Out of hundreds of tents, however, we only found three that were dedicated to animal issues.
One of those was a group, El Jardinet dels gats (which basically means in Spanish, “the little garden of the cats”), which works solely to rescue cats in the Barcelona area. The ladies manning the booth were wearing homemade cat ears and the sight reminded me so much of our days working our table at PetSmart that I had to stop and check out what they were doing. They had several nice flyers that explained what they do, as well as smaller flyers for the kitty of the day, a black and white, one year old male named Run-Run (of course, I took a flyer). I also had to buy a bag and a t-shirt, because their colors mimicked ours–a black background with an orange moon and a black cat silhouetted against the moon. If you’d like to check out their web site, go to www.eljardinetdelsgats.org They also have a very cool blog.
While I was standing there, trying to remember enough Spanish to ask about the plight of homeless cats in Spain, I fumbled around until one lady, who was from Poland, informed me that she could speak English. She then told me that there are a lot of homeless cats in Barcelona. On one of the posters they had hanging up, I noticed the cat appeared to be ear-tipped and she told me that they do take a notch out of the ear when a cat has been sterilized!! You cannot believe how excited I was to learn that the same thing we do in Plain City, Ohio, is being done around the world in Barcelona, Spain.
We found two other groups working for all animals, not only cats. The first was “Fundacion Altarriba, Amigos de los Animales (Friends of Animals)” and “ADDA or Defiende Los Animales (Defending the Animals).” I purchased a t-shirt from Fundacion Altarriba, too, which said, “Jo respecto els animals” which means, “I respect the animals.” Very cool. To see the web sites for both of these groups, go to www.altarriba.org and www.addaong.org
I made sure to leave donations at each of the booths. I know how hard it is to always have enough funds to take care of all the animals in need!
I think it is so cool to discover that other people are doing the same things we do every day in countries far from the United States and that others care for the plight of homeless cats as much as we do!!