Cats of Gili is a charity project that helps control Gili’s large cat population and their health problems. In co-operation with Jakarta Animal Aid Network and Gili Eco Trust the project organises for vets to visit and hold cat clinics 2-4 times a year, where the cats are sprayed, neutered and treated.
Fidu, one of our lovely guests at the Broken Compass, is a vet and compassionate animal lover and is spending her honeymoon traveling and exploring South-East Asia. Fidu got in touch with Cats of Gili and volunteered at the cat clinic while she stayed on Gili T. Pretty cool way to spend your honeymoon, right?
What made you want to be a VET?
I don’t remember ‘since when’ I wanted to be a vet, I just have, for as long as I can remember. I have been an animal ever since I was little. As soon as I learned to walk, I picked up every animal and carried it around. When we went on family vacations, I always found a dog or cat I wanted to take care of, driving my dad totally nuts! I cannot count how many times I heard “Don’t touch that animal” or “Leave that animal alone”.
How was your experience with Cats of Gili? What do you think of the cat situation in Gili T?
The Cats of Gili day-clinic was an amazing experience and loads of fun. I loved working with Rini who is not only a fantastic vet, but also an incredible person! As there is no vet permanently on the island, we provided veterinary care to sick and injured cats, and spayed and neutered as many of them as we could get. There are cats everywhere on the Gilis. Most cats of the islands are healthy and doing well, but breeding is out of control and as much as we love the cute little kittens- there are too many.
“Cats of Gili” is acting under “Gili Eco Trust” and was launched in September 2013. The project focuses on the health of the cats on the island, so vet visits are organized every now and then, information is shared and basic health care and cat food is provided at a little shop and cat hospital on Gili Trawangan.
I think the project is doing a fantastic job and making not only the cat’s life, but also tourism at the Gilis much more enjoyable. The cats look great and are well taken care of. You can see them taking a nap in the sun, loving life as beach bums around the beach restaurants and chasing crabs. Sometimes they even come over for some cuddles making you feel right at home!
Last but not least, did you enjoy your stay at the Broken Compass?
Best hostel ever! Nice atmosphere, lovely people and the diving is also great! I came across the hostel through the Gili Eco Trust. It turns “trash into treasures” by using all sorts of bottles as internal windows and sources of natural light. It looks really cool and beautiful!