What would you like to travel to a haven of peace, surrounded by crystal clear waters and accompanied by the purring of many cats? This cat paradise exists and is located in Su Pallosu, a small coastal town in the province of Oristan, in Sardinia. In fact, its peculiar idiosyncrasy has earned it the title of “cat beach”. That’s what the Italians call it.
In 1961 a teacher specialized in minerals, Atzori, was in the archipelago collecting corals for his studies. After suffering a thrombus, he began taking long walks along this beach in the San Vero Milis marina as part of his rehabilitation. The cats accompanied him and the experience was so pleasant that he decided to buy the beach.
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Su Pallosu, a World Heritage Site by Unesco
In 2002 Atzori died and since then his son Andrea and his wife, Irinna Albu, take care of the environment and the cat colony. There have been 40 in freedom and 21 in the shelter for health reasons . All the females are sterilized and night patrols are organized to prevent more specimens from being abandoned.
The picture that this small town of barely 40 houses boasts is dreamlike. In fact, if you visit it you will see more kittens than people. The beach is their home, there they roam freely . More and more tourists, lovers of cats, come to this Eden to experience it in the first person. The experience is, to say the least, endearing.
If you dare, you must book in advance, since only groups of 10 people are allowed. The reservation is free. In order to preserve the safety of the kittens, pets are not allowed. The non-profit association that manages the Atzori-Albu couple, Amici di Gatti , together with the volunteers, takes care of them.
A legendary colony
Despite the fact that the current cat collective began to take shape in the 1980s, this sandy area has housed cats for more than 100 years when a plague of rats encouraged local fishermen to turn to these excellent hunters to stop it. Since then the cats have taken over the beach and seem delighted to live there .
Not surprisingly, they lack nothing and are treated like royalty. However, not all cats on the planet can say the same. According to the data collected by the Affinity Foundation, which made public in January this year in its report “He would never do it”, 113,217 dogs and cats were collected in 2019 by animal protectors.
The figure is alarming, yes, but for the Animal Protection and Defense Associations (FAPAM) the real number of abandonments could amount to 300,000 pets, of which 33% take place in the first months of the year after Christmas. A fact that should make us reflect on the consequences of our irresponsibility, don’t you think?
Adopt rather than buy
The preference to adopt a cat instead of buying it from a cattery or a specialized store is a maxim that protectors and environmental groups do not tire of repeating, and they are right. Regardless of aesthetic and pedigree issues, there are hundreds of cats waiting for a host family.
Therefore, because the affection that a kitten can give you does not understand breeds, if you are considering welcoming one of these fascinating animals in your home, consider it and keep in mind that this decision is not reversible. Their well-being will forever depend on you. All pets should be cared for and respected like Su Pallosu cats.