September 2015, San Juan PUERTO RICO
Imagine a large colony of stray cats living happily in the streets, parks and sea side promenades of a beautiful old city such as San Juan, Puerto Rico- a UNESCO world heritage site. Now imagine them being treated with natural medicines, mainly homeopathy, when they need medical assistance. Sounds like a dream or a science fiction movie entitled ‘The new world”? It’s actually a personal dream come true, the realization of a vision through good will and cooperation. This project was made possible with the help and sponsoring of just a few people; it was accomplished by joint efforts of volunteers.
Save a Gato is a volunteer rescue organization that was established more than a decade ago, with the aim of managing the colonies of cats on the Paseo del Morro seaside promenade and the rest of Old San Juan streets through trapping, neutering and releasing them back. The cats are medically checked before being returned to lounge and sunbathe on the rocks of the Paseo. Cats that are not adopted are returned to their original colonies to be fed and monitored by volunteers and local residents.
The rescue has a ‘casita’ (little house in Spanish) where kittens and sick cats are hospitalized for treatment and follow-up. In spite of the small space and the basic conditions, these hospitalized cats – up to 80 in congested periods – are kept in excellent conditions with extra consideration for their cleanliness, well-being and happiness. They are all calm and relaxed in their cages, as if unaware of being enclosed. The casita also serves as a resting place, feeding and playing ground for the outdoors cats that live in the area, which probably explains the relaxed attitude of the caged cats.
I was invited to Puerto Rico by local clients whose cat I had treated and cured through homeopathy from EGC- Eosinophilic granuloma complex- a chronic skin condition. My trip was sponsored by clients that share my vision of spreading homeopathy amongst animal rescue organizations. SAVEAGATO’s ‘simple but effective’ moto made our cooperation easy and fruitful from the moment we met.
The homeopathic remedies starter kit that I had chosen was generously donated and sent to Puerto Rico by Freeman’s homeopathic pharmacy, Glasgow. No coincidences, the same pharmacy had sent the remedies for my clients’ cat in Puerto Rico four years earlier. Bringing homeopathic remedies and teaching homeopathy so that homeopathic medicine could be used as a simple healing tool for standard pathologies in large stray animal populations was the original idea that led to the implementation of the first stage of the project.
My working experience with the street cats of Tel Aviv has shown that homeopathic treatments are appropriate and effective when dealing with stray cat pathologies because they are minimalistic, efficient and easy to administer in drinking bowls.
The overall goal was to implement homeopathic treatments for stray and outdoors animals allowing them to live as naturally as possible, devoid of chemicals and stress. With homeopathic remedies and local natural compounds the animals can be treated while avoiding side effects and complications often associated with chemicals and hospitalizations. Homeopathy is a cost effective, minimalistic and elegant medicine.
After a first introductory meeting we scheduled learning sessions with several volunteers, mainly the volunteers that were in charge of the medical treatments. The first homeopathy learning session was an introduction to homeopathy, its history, basic principles and evolution. The next sessions covered the starter’s kit remedies one by one, their materia medica, characteristics and indications. We then had practical learning sessions, applying remedies to certain current pathologies and individual cases. We started treating cats at the casita using the remedies we had and following them up daily.
During the month of September 2015, the volunteers of Save a Gato learned how to use homeopathic remedies in a wide variety of cases; they were also taught how to use local natural substances such as native growing plants and local clay that is collected in the jungle’s riverbeds for example. The project’s first phase has proved to be successful, and homeopathy has been accepted with open arms and implemented with intent and seriousness in the treatment of all the hospitalized cats at the rescue’s casita.
The second semi-autonomous stage of the project is underway now, with study group sessions that have been set up at regular intervals, with the aim of expanding the volunteer’s knowledge of homeopathic remedies and materia medica. Our aim is to keep treating the cats of San Juan (and dogs too! ) with homeopathy, while deepening the basic homeopathic knowledge of the rescue volunteers through continuous study group sessions with constant monitoring and counseling from afar. The volunteers would like to share and spread their homeopathic experience with other organizations and animal lovers. We aim to keep spreading veterinary homeopathy by repeating this simple and cost effective project in other places.