Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gearing Up!

It was "hurricane season".

Weather would prove to dampen our efforts during this visit.
But this "callejero", or dog street, found a new water bowl.
Our sponsoring Cuban NGO SPCMA provided a great space for our
orientation of Habana Vieja colony keepers.
With the success of sterilization campañas of dogs in Old Havana, feral cats have thrived.
SPCMA, an NGO under the Office of the Historian, supported our proposal for 
Cuba's first mass TNR for cats.

During each trip we meet wonderful and fascinating Cubans.
This visit did not disappoint.
After our orientation meeting we were invited to the gallery of Amelia and Angel.
Terracota 4 Galería-Estudio
Calle Mercaderes 156 Calles Obrapía y Lamparilla
Studio and gallery for Amelia and Angel.
This was to be designated as the HQ (headquarters) for our work in Habana Vieja.
Should you come across their gallery during your strolling in Old Havana
stick your head in the door and say hello from Terry and the Spanky Project.
They may put a pot of coffee on for you.

From Amelia and Angel's local we walked to Plaza de Armas to visit book vendor Marta.

Daily, Marta feeds a colony of near thirty cats.

They have made themselves at home in a building slated for renovations.

It was pointed out to us that sites designated for "repurposeing"have become homes to colonies.
We are working with the Office of the Historian to target these sites and to incorporate them in our TNR program.
Here is some video.
After these cats are trapped and sterilized we tip one of their ears.
If you see cats in Habana Vieja with a tipped ear you will see our work.

After our visit with Marta we dropped into our clinic.
Welcome to the home of our Havana TNR.

This was our first look this trip. Check in later to see the makeover.

Yes, we work hard but we also take some time to enjoy some of what Havana has to offer.
On Saturday's, there is a wonderful art walk on "the Prado".
Which, by the way, is my favourite street in the whole world.

Dairne and Emma visit with an artist Emma had come to know on a previous trip.
He makes unique art pieces out of found objects.

OK, back to the cats.

One thing that struck me was cat colonies that have keepers seem to have one dog.
Toby is the lone dog in a house of eleven cats.
Some may find our typical day exhaustion.
Tony managed to have the occasional "cat nap" through out our busy days.

Our final orientation was held in  Luyanó  district of the municipio Diez de Octubre.
Our first contact with Municipal IMV Director Dr. Harry Stamatopolos Mpountos was in February 2012.
This is the "consultorio" where he and his veterinary crew work.

We began our meeting outdoors. 
Soon after commencing we had a surprise visit from a good friend.

Dr.Pavel Herrera (in orange) arrived much to everyone's delight.
Dr.Harry (in white) was equally pleased.

Pavel is the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine - Universidad Agraria de La Habana.
He took some time to reminisce with former students.

No digital projectors and screens here. 
We all huddled around a laptop.

After our meeting it was back to works for the veterinary staff.
The morning appointments had begun to gather.
It is an honour to collaborate with the Cuban veterinary community.
It is heartening to see the love and care many give their pets.

Some are not as fortunate as they sleep in the streets or in this case the welcome mat of the
Hotel Parque Central.

The implementation of humane population control programs are the cornerstones of a