By Bejay Browne
A Paphos cat lover is pleading for a volunteer to help her feed scores of feral and stray cats found around Paphos town, as well as individuals or business which are prepared to donate wet or dry food.
Gaynor Georgiou, 71, known locally as ‘the cat lady’ has been feeding Paphos cats for more than 25 years and says she has now spent all of her savings on feeding her feline friends.
She also uses most of her pension to take care of the cats and is trying to spay or neuter all of the 130 or so which she now regularly looks after.
She said that this is her last attempt to try and drum up support for the cats of Paphos, as previous appeals have failed to bring results.
“I would really like to find a volunteer who will help me to feed the cats as it’s all getting a bit much on my own,” she said. “I can’t just stop feeding them. They sit and wait for me at the specific points around the town. They have feelings; it’s like us waiting for a meal and it not showing up. Some have three legs, some are blind, or epileptic or have other health issues.”
The cat lover says that she knows all of the cats individually and most have names. She regularly takes her feline friends to a local animal charity in Paphos that help out when the animals are sick. She also takes them to be spayed or neutered when finances allow.
Georgiou has become something of a local celebrity in Paphos, and is well known for her caring attitude and beaming smile.
“If there are any businesses or individuals who can help with donations of cat food that would be great,” she said. “I buy around 35 cans of food a day and have now spent all of my savings. I have been feeding some of them for years.”
The cats are her world, she said, and have kept her going since the death of her much loved husband a few years ago.
Seven days a week, whatever the weather, Georgiou does a daily round of selected feeding places in Paphos town. She feeds and waters the cats who rush to greet her.
Despite her ‘round’ being greatly hindered by road works and upgrading projects which got underway in the town last week, she says she won’t be deterred and couldn’t imagine a life without the cats.
“They are wonderful creatures and many tourists love to watch them being fed and cared for. Occasionally, visitors have even brought food or give small donations to help. The cats are an asset to the area, although I know that some people and some of the officials in Paphos don’t feel the same way.”
However, not all officials are opposed to the cat lover. One Paphos traffic policeman, who looks after dozens of cats himself, often stops to inform her where cut price cat food is on sale.
“It’s very kind of him,” she said.
Often referred to as the cats’ ‘guardian angel’, Georgiou has twice been nominated for the Paphos Hearts of Gold Award.
Previous pleas for help have failed and the ‘cat lady’, is hoping that this time, people and businesses will rally round to help her and the towns’ cats.
“I get some help from a pet shop and a local businesswoman and I’m very grateful for that, but I really need someone to help me feed them, along with more food for the cats.”
If you would like to help Gaynor, please call: 99 778 962.