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Remi will never be alone in the world
By Micha

When we as real animal lovers spend our vacation together with other animal lovers you never know what might happen that changes your whole vacation. And something did happen this summer in Torre Vieja, Spain.
In the middle of the night after a dinner and some drinks we were walking back to our car, and one of us discovered sitting on the street a little black and white desperately sad kitten. We almost didn't see him. He was barely alive and was sitting in his own urine. He was so weak that he could not hold up is own little head. His eyes were infected and closed, he was very skinny and dirty and he was so very alone…

What to do
There we were in the middle of the night in Spain not knowing what to do. We could not leave him there to die. And no vet available in the middle of the night. We started to discuss about it: leaving him there and come back in the morning? Or take him with us? The little cat made the decision himself: With the last bit of strength he had left he looked up and he started to talk to us. With a high voice he told us to please help him.
That was it, he had to go with us. The men arranged a box, and Remi was placed in our rental car. We were surprised to see that the little cat -now named Remi - started to purr and rolled himself up to a little ball in his box. He knew it was ok. He already slept when we started the engine.

To the vet
That night he drunk three tea cups of water, and had half a can of catfood. Then he slept for hours. That morning we washed him. Carefully we cleaned his eyes, and discovered one golden eye. The other one was gone due to the infection. He loved to be washed and and rolled himself on his back so we could stroke his little belly.
We took him to a Spanish vet, who told us that Remi at 12 weeks old was dehydrated, too skinny, had a cold, a serious eye infection and a dislocated shoulder. He was very taken by Remi, and called him 'little friend'. He was also very optimistic about Remi's future. According to him Remi had a strong will to live…

Dumped
After 5 days of love and care of the four of us he started to look like a real cat, started to wash himself and understood were the litterbox is for.
Remi must have been a house cat that was dumped on the street. Probably because of his eye infection. We found him sitting in front of a pile of stones with dirty towels, and he must have lived there for weeks in the heat ( 40 degrees!) without any water or food.
Every night Remi would climb out of his box to walk around the livingroom, ending in the fireplace between the leftover wood and ashes. There he felt safe because it was similar to the pile of stones he was used to. Every morning we had to clean him because he was totally grey of the ashes.

Finding him a home
We had to think about the future of Remi. We are living in Holland and already have three cats in our apartment. Our friends live in Rome, and take care of 7 strays at home. We wanted to find a good shelter for him were he could have the chance to be adopted in Spain. From the neighbours we got the addresses of shelters around TorreVieja. But they all refused to take Remi. They were totally full due to the vacation period. We were starting to get desperate. What to do? Try to take him to Holland, and place him in a shelter overthere?

The English-Spanish connection
Internet brought us the solution. Through a telephonecall to the organisation Costa Blanca Feral Cat Trust in the UK we found an English woman Lorraine Almond -Farrant. In Polop, Alicante (near Benidorm). She wanted to take Remi! So we took Remi to this beautiful village Polop, with old houses and lot's of green. Lorraine already had a cage ready for Remi in her own home so he could get used to her in the next few weeks. When she picked up Remi for the first time she looked at him and said: " You will live with us for the rest of your life! With just one eye you will never find a new home!". And she kissed him on the head. We all knew it was ok. We found a home for Remi!

PACK Shelter
Lorraine and her husband bought a piece of Land with orange trees were they take care of 50 cats and 5 dogs ( and two hamsters) in different cabins.
They called their shelter PACK, Protection of Abandoned Cats and Kittens. First they wanted to make it into a dogshelter, but there were more cats in need, especially kittens. So it became a catshelter. They take care of abandoned or unwanted animals, give them lots of TLC, good food, medical attention, and at the right age they get sterilized. Then they try to rehome them.
They are doing this without any support, occasionally someone donates some money, but it's difficult to survive. We were all very impressed by their work, and the way the run their shelter. So we decided to make a website for them. And hopefully this will help to get them some much needed fundings and Volunteers.

Remi started to get sick
When we were home again we got a wonderful picture of a healthy looking Remi together with another kitten he bonded with. It made us smile the rest of the day.
But Remi started to get sick. And Lorraine who already was attached to him took him to the vet. He discovered Remi was too ill to survive. From that point Lorraine carried Remi around were ever she went. And people noticed the little cat. And they wanted to adopt him! In the mean time I had written this story about Remi in Dutch and published it on the internet. We got lots of reactions of Dutch people who wanted to adopt Remi…Never was a little one-eyed cat so popular!

Remi did not survive his illness.
But in the last part of his short life he was loved and he was not alone anymore…



Note: The name Remi comes from the book of Hector Malot : Sans Famille. This is the story of a small boy, Remi, a foundling who is sold for 40 francs to a vagabond musician, Vitalis, who operates a performing-dog troupe. There are three dogs in the troupe: Capi--Capitano, a white Poodle; Zerbino--a black Barbet; and Miss Dulcie--small grey female. After many cliff-hanger adventures (including involving the deaths of Zerbino, Dulcie and Vitalis), Remi (with the faithful Capi) finds his very well-off real family from whom he was abducted as a baby and the book ends happily after 800 or so action-packed pages.




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