My name is Neil and I live in Ballito on the North Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. I am passionate about animals and their welfare and pride myself on helping out where I can. In January 2017 while on an annual trip to Ponta Do Ouro, Mozambique, I stayed at a resort called Ntsuty Lodge. I noticed many stray cats, most of them were females with small kittens and was concerned about the growing cat population.
When I returned to Durban, I undertook an online search for organisations in Mozambique that would hopefully assist. After sending a few emails I received feedback from Moira Felgate, founder of MAPS (Mozambique Animal Protection Society) and in copy with Caron Grant-Hean, who explained that Protect Ponta would be able to assist. Caron and Shannon of Protect Ponta were very happy to help, provided I could bring the cats to the clinic, they would all be sterilised, receive rabies vaccinations as well as be dewormed at no charge.
I had no experience trapping cats but after chatting with Caron she put me in contact with Daniel Stewart, who gave me a few traps to use. With his wise instruction on how to trap humanely, I volunteered to be part of a clinic held in Ponta Do Ouro, run by Protect Ponta (Durban) and the Spay Sisters (UK), during the second week in February 2017.
I managed to trap fifteen cats – male and female as well as assisted in collecting local pets to be sterilised and vaccinated.
Trapping feral cats was rather tricky at times and I spent many hours setting traps with wet food and waiting patiently to trigger traps. It was a great experience and I am very grateful to Caron and Shannon from Protect Ponta, Sara who is a dedicated veterinarian, Sandy from Oceana Diving and the Spay Sisters for dedicating their time and resources to help the cats of Ntsuty and the Ponta do Ouro area.
Since the clinic in February 2017, I have been sending food up to Mozambique each month for the cats that live in and around the lodge. I mentioned my feeding program to friends and they have very generously been assisting with contributing towards each purchase. We send up twenty kilograms per month to the general manager of the lodge, Moses Mntambo, who very kindly feeds them daily and ensures they have clean drinking water.
This is how Mozam Cats started, with the help of generous people, donating resources, time and skills in starting this wonderful initiative to help these special creatures.
A big thank you to Karla, Melissa, Chad, David, Debbie and Wendy for all your help! It’s been a wonderful journey and a pleasure working with you.