War's impact on animals
In October, we wrote about a remarkable rescue cat – Mozart – and an amazing project – Project Kishka. FOUR PAWS' launched Project Kishka in response to the dire situation that was emerging for stray cats in Ukraine. Through this project, FOUR PAWS aims to sterilise, vaccinate, and medically treat 10,000 cats in Ukraine by December 2023.
Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, stray animal populations have risen across the country. Many NGOs have stepped up to help communities continue their sterilisation programmes; however, most of these do not include cats. As a result, the risk of stray cat populations getting out of control is high, and their chance of survival on the streets is very low.
When the team found Mozart, he was gravely wounded. After several surgeries, treatment and much love and care, he beat the odds and overcame his unimaginable injuries and suffering. This remarkable fighter became a favourite patient at the Project Kishka clinic in Chernihiv and earned the name Mozart for his ‘operatic’ meowing. Sadly, Mozart passed away on December 8th from a stroke. The Project Kishka team – and everyone at FOUR PAWS – is saddened by this loss, yet so grateful that Mozart had experienced so much love and care during the last months of his life.
There is so much more for us to do in the Ukraine. Project Kishka will continue to help stray cats and in doing so, will also honour Mozart and his life. Please read on to learn about Mozart’s rescue and his impact on Project Kishka.
Our VIP Mozart – a very important patient
In the earlier stages of the war, Chernihiv was one of the hardest hit Ukrainian cities. People lost their homes and fled the city; many lives were lost – both human and animal; and municipal infrastructure was badly affected, including veterinary clinics.
Today, however, Chernihiv is one of the locations where we carry out Project Kishka.
By April, the veterinary staff at the municipal clinic had returned to work to help the many animals in need – victims of the war. On one of their first days back, clinic volunteers found a critically injured cat in the streets. The agonising cries of an animal in pain led them to a dire scene. The cat’s skull and body were badly broken. While the cat was very close to death, the veterinarian on site knew there was still a chance to save his life. After 4 surgeries, remarkably, it seemed this resilient creature was on the road to recovery.
Nothing’s going to bring him down
Of course, having sustained such serious injuries, this little feline has had some long-term damage: he lost one eye, the sight of the other eye is very weak, and due to internal organ damage, he will always need special food. But make no mistake, he is one happy cat and he lets his caregivers know it! He 'sings' a lot. He sings for attention, when he is happy, or when he wants something. It is as if he is performing his own opera; therefore, the vet staff named him Mozart.
Knowing Mozart would need special care for the rest of his life, the clinic team adopted him and will give him all the love and attention he needs. He has already been voted everyone’s 'Favourite Colleague' and is certainly a VIP – a very important patient!
Project Kishka is dedicated to helping cats in Ukraine. Most of these animals are (in one way or another) victims of the war, but like Mozart, they all deserve a life filled with love, compassion, and security.