Home > animals, croatia, travel > The Cats of the Old City

The Cats of the Old City

Croatia Cats

Last Christmas my husband gave me a beautiful book – The French Cat – by NZ animal photographer Rachael Hale McKenna. I was so thrilled with it, as this book combines two subjects that I love the most: old buildings and cats!  Rachael’s book gave me the inspiration to take these images while I was on holiday in Croatia earlier this year. And I was really excited that, shortly after I got back from holiday, I had the opportunity to attend a photography seminar in Auckland given by her.

So, coming back to these images, while in Croatia I found myself taking so many pictures of my furry friends – sadly all of them homeless. But I also had the opportunity to meet one of the most dedicated, loving veterinarians in the city of Split, Jelena Radeljic at Dr. Filipovic’s clinic. Split is such a beautiful city, but unfortunately it doesn’t have an animal shelter yet. Dr Filipovic, Jelena, and their friends and supporters are working really hard on building one soon. I believe that they now have the location permit, however they do need financial support from anyone who believes this is a good cause. For more information please visit their website: http://zaklada-za-zastitu-zivotinja.hr

While there at the clinic, I observed how Jelena was caring for the stray animals, sometimes until very late hours of the day, and sometimes even sleeping overnight at the clinic with especially sick ones. It was Jelena who helped us to save a tiny kitten we found on the streets of Split. He was so skinny and hungry, so wet because of the rain, so infected with fleas and parasites, and only a few weeks old. We named him Tisak (meaning ‘Press’ in Serbo-Croatian, as we found him under a newspaper kiosk). Jelena waited for us to arrive at the clinic, and this was around 10pm, as she was treating all the other animals that were arriving after hours. This experience gave us the opportunity to learn more about the difficulties the future shelter is having, and the future the stray animals will have if the shelter doesn’t get built.

But funny enough, all of this couldn’t have been done if it wasn’t for social media. When we found Tisak we didn’t know where the closest vet clinic was or if there was a local animal shelter. So after asking a few locals, and only getting some raised eyebrows in response, we decided to Google the info, like you do these days. And there we found a blog post from Dos Trotamundos, Marco and Kristin – like us, visiting tourists. They had had a similar experience in Split some months earlier, and because of their post we ended up at Dr Filipovic’s clinic and meeting Jelena.

This set of images is a very small selection of some of the stray cats I ran into in the streets of Croatia – mainly in the old parts of Split and Dubrovnik. This post is dedicated to Dr Filipovic, Dr Jelena Radeljic and all the stray animals. I hope that the Split shelter gets up and running soon. I feel happy that tiny Tisak is now receiving good care, having been fostered out by the clinic.

PS: Since I wrote this post above, bloggers Our Adventure in Croatia have published an interview with Marco and Kristin which includes an update on progress in building the Split animal shelter.

  1. cafelebrocq
    October 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Interesting and touching story, well illustrated with your photos

  2. October 8, 2013 at 3:01 am

    Reblogged this on donex..

  3. October 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Terrific photos and great story that highlights the good that is being done by people. Nice to hear good news instead of media placed bad news.

    • January 8, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks very much – and yes, it is inspirational to hear about people doing good deeds …

  4. December 2, 2013 at 3:43 am

    A wonderful series of photos:) Natural and calm colors, great work!

  5. December 6, 2013 at 5:47 am

    I love your picture, and I also love the cats !!

  6. Our Adventure in Croatia
    January 7, 2014 at 9:37 am

    nice photos… we are doing a post this month about the Split animal shelter, interviewing Marco and Kristen, hope you can put a link on your blog to give more exposure, thanks!

    • January 7, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      That’s great! It’s a small world. I will look out for the post and will do so. I see you are in Trogir – it is such a beautiful place 🙂

      • Our Adventure in Croatia
        January 8, 2014 at 9:43 am

        thanks! I have drafted the animal shelter post and will publish in the next few weeks. small world indeed 🙂

  7. January 18, 2014 at 6:45 am

    I love how you see the world through your lens! I will follow your blog to see more of your works!!Congrats!

  8. Our Adventure in Croatia
    January 23, 2014 at 3:07 am

    our interview is published today in the blog, if you want to read it

    • January 23, 2014 at 7:41 am

      Great – thanks! I have also put a link to your post above 🙂 Good to hear that great progress is being made on the shelter!

  9. September 17, 2014 at 9:33 am

    your photos are lovely! Do you think you or someone could make a calendar out of them to sell to help make money for the new shelter or towards the costs of vet care for the strays? I’m sure cat lovers who visit Split would buy one! i would and it’s a great momento of the city. Am presently trying to work out how I can produce one to make money for the Dubrovnik dog shelter!

  1. January 23, 2014 at 2:01 am
  2. March 15, 2014 at 2:30 pm

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