Yes, Bob Barker from the Price is Right. I wouldn’t have thought that being in Cyprus would make me think of him, of all people… Why, you might be wondering?
Last night I had dinner at the restaurant at the resort where I’m staying. A beautiful spot on the beach in a more remote part of Cyprus. There were several cats walking around the restaurant there while I was sitting at an outdoor table. One even jumped up on the neighboring table and got a few bites in of their leftover food after the people had left. I assumed this was just a quirk of the eco-friendly place I was staying.
Then tonight, I walked into the nearby town of Latchi and had dinner somewhere there. Not very far away, but a few minutes walking. There I saw a few more cats roaming around, also clearly strays.
So, I looked it up online on my phone while waiting for my food. Apparently the quickly growing population of stray cats in Cyprus has been a growing problem since 2012, when due to financial issues, the funding available to spay and neuter cats dried up. And apparently lots of people that felt they couldn’t afford their cats anymore were taking them to shelters.
So, that’s how I got to Bob Barker. When I was a kid, it was watching episodes of The Price is Right where I think I first really learned about that terminology. Bob Barker was always so adamant, every episode, that you should get your pets spayed or neutered. I always thought it was a good message, but honestly I don’t think it was until today that I really saw how important that message was. When the practice stops, cats sure can multiple quickly. I’ll be interested to see if I notice this as much in other parts of Cyprus.
Though I will say, an excess of stray cats does not seem as bad as places where there are issues with packs of stray/wild dogs.