10-07-2017 di Leni Frau
In Watamu they call her all "Mama Paka".
Nicoletta "Niky" Ghiberti has for five years been the cats paladin of the small tourist town of Watamu.
Mama Paka is a 55-year-old lady who was born in Kenya in 2004 from Turin, where she worked as a bookkeeper for pharmacies in the capital and province.
"We moved here after the doctors advised my husband Gaetano to move to a place with a mild and warm climate for many months a year - says Niky - first of all I thought of Sardinia but Gaetano, which every year was usual Take a vacation in Kenya, call me to inform me of buying a plot in Watamu. "
The time to settle things in Italy, and the couple begins a new African life.
Love for the felines, not yet completely blossomed, in Kenya for Niky will have its culmination.
Meanwhile, on the ground in the center of the village from then on, a small "petfriendly" building will be built, which will be used for renting furnished rooms. After ten years of satisfactory work, Nicoletta and Gaetano decide to quit the job and enjoy his retirement and the savings accumulated over the years.
"At least this was the initial idea," says Mama Paka, "unfortunately much of that savings are still blocked at the Imperial Bank after the bank's crack."
It will be to divert thoughts and passion to something different or to the sensitivity that a place like Watamu pulls out in generous souls, the predisposition that brings so many local residents to engage in protecting the animals of savannah, forests or sea beds, When not the orphaned children or the poor people's health. Niky chose, or rather, let her choose from cats.
Mama Paka's story begins when a tourist leaves her Nerina's cat asking her to look after her for 3 months until her return.
"The lady is no longer back," she remembers, "and from that day Nerina has become part of the family, besides Red, a beautiful red male who accompanies me in the walks."
They complete the "Macho" family, a delightful blind kitten and other cuttings, of which two newly arrived, the only survivors of a litter of 6.
The landlord has in all respects become a cats residence. Each door has a hatch to allow guests freedom of movement.
A room was set to the kitchen where every morning at 06.30 Nicoletta prepares boiled rice (½ kg per day - spending about 300 Euro per month) which is then shredded and mixed with meat or fish. At 8am, "Mama Paka" is ready to start its food distribution round, equipped with disinfectants and disinfectants when needed. Until some time ago he walked on foot, now the work became too heavy and he used the car.
The distribution points are close to Barracuda, where there is a garbage collection point and focuses on the largest colony, at Aquarius, as Back and at the village of Watamu.
At these same points, appendages are made to capture sterilized cacti. "I can not take it more than six at a time, since I have only just one box," says Nicoletta, "until a while ago, I did it all alone, but it's not an easy job, so I'm helping a good assistant named Mohamed. Obviously earns a lot of cat recovered to be sterilized. He is now through my local community, who is addressing us to point out needs or problems. "
Thanks to the availability of Marzia, a close friend and neighbor, the captured felines are put in the waiting room of the veterinarian who for a fee of about 50 euros per cat performs the operation. The next day they will be taken back to the place where they were collected.
But Watamu's cats are constantly increasing and Niki is no longer able to bear the costs and workload.
By fb, Leli Sala creates the MICI RANDAGI WATAMU group through which a lot of lotteries or fundraising activities are created. The very active Niky creates and sells gadgets, t-shirts and more. The intent is to collect the need to buy more boxes, find veterinarians or experts available to do volunteering but also just advice on how to take the wildest or most disturbing felines.
"I would like to get sterilized at least 100 cats," says Mama Paka, "but I need some concrete help, especially in capture. Unfortunately, I have found much solidarity but no active participation over the years, while on the other hand many have criticized My choice to help stray cats in a place where everywhere there are examples of poverty and human discomfort, as if one thing excluded the other."
Nicoletta is not indifferent even to the local community (contributes to the payment of school fees for the children of her staff).
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