Cat lady seeks helper (2013)

By Bejay Browne

A Paphos cat lover is desperate to find a female companion who will help her to feed scores of feral and stray cats found around the town.

For more than a decade, Gaynor Georgiou has been spending hundreds of euros of her own money each month feeding and caring for more than 130 stray cats living in the old town of Paphos. The 69-year-old pensioner says she is now desperate for help.

“I would really like to find a suitable retired lady in her 60s or above, that would like to come and live in Cyprus and give me some much needed assistance to help feed all of the cats in the car parks of Paphos,” the widowed cat lover said. “In return, I’m offering a free home and friendship.”

Gaynor says that she understands the emphasis recently has been placed on helping to feed the needy families of the area in the wake of the financial crisis and admits she feels embarrassed to ask for help for the animals.

“Everyone is suffering at the moment, and there are many families who need help as they don’t have food. But I can’t abandon the cats. Some people say to me that the cats would be all right without me as they would catch lizards and such like to survive. But they don’t really understand about animals and their welfare,” she said.

Originally from the UK, Gaynor met her Cypriot husband in London when she was just 16 years old. She married him and the pair moved to Paphos almost 25 years ago. Since his death a couple of years ago, Gaynor says that the cats have kept her going; and give her a reason to get up in the mornings.

Seven days a week, whatever the weather, the cat lover does a daily round of selected feeding places in Paphos town. She feeds and waters the cats who rush to greet her. Despite receiving a recent cut in her pension allowance, Gaynor still uses the bulk of her income to feed the cats she adores.

The animal lover is also a regular visitor to the local animal welfare charities and is often taking wounded or sick cats and kittens to them for treatment.

Often referred to as the cats’ ‘guardian angel’, Gaynor regularly takes her feline friends to be spayed and neutered to ensure that the population is kept under control.

“I would like them all to have this operation eventually,” she said.

The pensioner spent two days in hospital last week suffering from exhaustion and sun stroke. She was also dehydrated. She says this incident has spurred her to appeal to the public to come forward and volunteer to help her with her daily rounds.

“I would love to find a friend, a quiet living, self-supporting companion, who is an animal lover and is interested in what I’m doing. I only need them to help me for three hours a day. I can’t do what I used too as I’m not young anymore and I’m feeling a bit worn out.”

The cat lover says she is often kept awake at night worrying about what would happen to the cats if she were no longer able to take care of them.

If you would like to help Gaynor call 99 778962.

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