Monthly Archives: January 2013

Happy Animals Happy People 2012 By Catherina Davis

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Below is a slideshow of photos taken during 2012 on Paraiso Del Burro.

TALES OF ONE CAT AND THREE KITTENS written by Catherina Davis

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It is not only donkeys that come to live here at Donkey Paradise. We have some new additions to our big family of animals. We have a 3 years Old Persian cat called Julie that has been here some months. Julie’s owners were moving house from Asturias to the south of Spain and asked Marleen if there would be a home for Julie here. Julie is a very affectionate cat and likes to sleep on a silk pillow in the house. She is outside during the day but sleeps in the house at night-time
During one of our evening routines of collecting the donkeys, Astrid, liana and Eline were staying in the cabana with their parents. As they walked through the field in search of donkeys, they suddenly heard a cat calling out. Near the stream at the cabana they found a tiny kitten that was in a bad state. They carried her back to show Marleen. Her eyes were completely closed and infected. We cleaned her eyes and gave her food, which she ate so quickly. The next day Marleen brought her to the vet where they removed 60 ticks. She also had fleas which the vet treated and cat flu. Antibiotics and eye drops were given to her every day. Marleen kept her in her room to keep her separated from Julie as cat flu is contagious to other cats.Marleen called her Canela (cinnamon in English). Once canelas flu had cleared up, Julie who was staying in my room came to staying in the rest of the house with Canela. At first Julie was not too sure of this little kitten running around and wanting to play with her, but over time they seemed to enjoy each other’s company and played games running around the house. After a few weeks of this we noticed that Julie did not seem happy. Although she got the attention of people coming in to the house during the day and evening she didn’t appear very happy. Julie started to become annoyed with Canela who being a curious little kitten wanted the company of another cat to play with as well as the games and attention of us. It was evident to see how sad she had become. Marleen sent an email to her previous owners to inform them of the change in Julie’s behaviour. They contacted Marleen back and were deeply saddened by what was happening and would make arrangements if possible to have Julie back with them.
Marleen was contacted by Anjo and bob that help in giving refuge and rehome dogs and cats and two little kittens that were abandoned were looking for a new home. With the arrival of two new kittens and the condition that Julie was in we felt the best thing to do was to move Julie back to my room where she could be by herself and keep me company too! It took some time for Julie to feel comfortable again but with one person looking after her and having her own space she started to come out of herself again. She is so much happier again and I call her my princess (mi princessa) as I feel this suits her personality better.
With the arrival of two new kittens it was a lot of fun to see. Canela bonded with the playful brothers straight away and what beauty could be seen in the simplicity and the natural progression of watching Pepper, Ginger and Canela play, chasing each other up and down the stairs and taking little naps when they were tired.
My princess remained in my room and last month she moved over to the cabana to live with Michael. I brought her over with me when I stayed there over Christmas to see how she would feel in her new home. Princessa adapted straight away in her new space and when Michael returned from his Christmas holidays he was more than happy with his new cat friend.canela pepper (4)


DSC_0584Many hands make light work, is the thought that comes to my mind when I think of the big apple harvest here at Paraíso del Burro. For two weeks a hardworking, dedicated crew of enthusiastic volunteers could be seen working in the orchards that are scattered throughout the six hectares of land of the donkey sanctuary.

Each day after breakfast the apple pickers would head off into the orchards with their buckets and large sacks at the ready. Amongst the team was ‘tree shaker Cees’, whose job it was to shake the apples from the trees with the means of a very long pole. No apple was left out, and if the shaking of the branches didn’t free the apples, Cees would climb up to get the rest of those that were hanging on tight.

Once the apples had fallen to the ground, Jopi, Nannie, Susanna, Ad and Michael would work together in putting them in the buckets and filling the large sacks. Michael then would carry the big, heavy sacks to the trailer. Monica, Lisa (her dog), Jack and Marleen would join in to help after feeding the donkeys and cleaning out the stables. Local volunteers would come in to help during the course of the day. Joanne, Samantha, Anuska and Meagan – who come here every week to brush the donkeys – helped in collecting the apples which covered the grass throughout the the orchard. Bob who works with rehoming dogs came in and even brought his own bucket. Thomas and Astrid, who have a natural campsite in Infiesto, also came in for a few days of helping and – not to be forgotten – their wee dog Sita. Peter and Lynn who live locally came in to join in on the fun of apple picking too. This was a total of 18 people who, throughout the two weeks, worked very hard. There was even time for Jopi to bake apple crumble to have on coffee break. A hearty vegetarian lunch and evening meal were prepared each day by Marleen, Monica and Catherina – followed by a siesta, of course! After siesta the apple pickers continued with the work while Marleen, Catherina and Monica collected the donkeys and gave them their evening food. Jack walked the dogs and fed them.

Each day the team built up a good rhythm and in turn naturally worked in harmony. A lot of hard work, but also a lot of laughs and fun was had by all. 13.000 kilos of apples were harvested in total and they were delivered to the cider factory. The money which was made is being put to use for all the animals who live at Paraíso del Burro. Gazpacho the mule will be given a new raincoat. Also some of the money will be used on the construction of a new emergency stable, which is being built by Juanma.

A big THANK YOU to all the people who took the time to help. An apple tree grows from a seed. If Paraíso del Burro is the apple tree, the volunteers are the seeds, because without the seeds the tree couldn’t grow …

By Catherina Davis