I couldn’t find anything online about cat work on Vis, so I started something. The original name was Street Pussy: I made a logo and started a facebook group. Even though I thought the name was fun, I soon realized that in order to have a broader reach, I’d need something a bit more neutral and conservative, so I changed the name to “Street Cats of Vis.”
I didn’t get very far on my own, beyond continuing to take cats to the mainland to be sterilized. In August of 2019, I was joined by Francesca Walker, who works for the NZ SPCA. She’s taking a year off from her job in New Zealand to help animals in other parts of the world, and she found her way to Vis. We hit it off from the start, and the project really got a boost from our combined energies. I continued building the visual identity of the project with a new logo and a website, streetcatsofvis.com, made flyers, did social media and admin work. Francesca did the boots-on-the-ground work, rescuing and caring for cats and kittens, making connections with vets and potential adopters, and was very successful in bringing people together, which is super important!
The facebook group has become a place where locals and non-locals alike discuss cat problems on Vis and try to find solutions. A local woman is leading a citizen initiative to petition the mayor for funding and infrastructure, and she’s got good momentum going with that. We’re hopeful that the situation will start to change for the better, and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a vet.