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Eve Presenter tells us her views on cats in the UAE for International Cat Day

Our fury friend appreciation day.

Eve Presenter

It is no surprise that hundreds of thousands of cats in the UAE are stray. As the population in the UAE grows, so does the number of kittens on a daily basis. With the scorching heat, many cats in the UAE are starved to death or die of dehydration with many charities trying to help strays as well as raise awareness of the issue.

For International Cat Day, we speak to influencer Eve Presenter who lives in Dubai and is a 9-5 pm radio presenter for Channel4 Dubai. Eve is known as the “cat lady” in Dubai, uploading daily content on her stories about her rescue cat, Buddy, as well as videos of other strays in the UAE who Eve visits and helps as much as she can. With 38k followers on her Instagram, Eve talks to us about the overpopulation of cats in the UAE, and what we can do to help.

1. Where did your love for animals come from?

“My love for animals came from a very young age when my mum and dad did not allow me to have a dog. I always dreamt of having a dog because they give you unconditional love, and the kindest, sweetest animal on the planet – humans’ best friend! We don’t deserve animals, and we don’t deserve dogs, but I would love a dog. I have never had one but was obsessed about it as when you’re told no, you want one even more right? So I would also look out for dogs or try to find dogs at a young age. I was always looking for stray cats as well which grew my love for cats.

Sadly my mum had a miscarriage when I was very young. We were supposed to be 3 children but instead of having a 3rd baby, she adopted a cat. My brother and I fell in love with our cat who became a younger sibling and therefore where my love for cats came from. Our first cat lived until the age of 21 which is pretty outstanding for a cat’s life! We fed it all the best food and gave it so much love.”

3. Do you help with any animal charities?

“Here in the UAE, there are so many amazing animal charities so I couldn’t just pick one. There are so many I love to contribute to and volunteer with. In particular the Ras al Khaimah Animal Welfare. We always like to take a trip up north to go and visit the dogs and cats, and other animals they have rescued. They are an amazing institute in the Northern Emirates that helps animals in need. Not only do they have a dog park but also a dog swimming pool which is amazing to watch! You get to walk them and put them in the pool, it’s so much fun!

There is also the Um al Quwain center which recently went viral for the husky in Dubai. They do an amazing job to rescue animals and also do sunset walks that you can join as they always need volunteers, even volunteers for food. K9Friends is another huge organisation in Dubai.”

4. What’s the story of Buddy? Where did you find him?

“My fat cat Buddy is spoilt, and I love him like my child. He is my fur baby and when I first met him, I was so lonely in Dubai with no one around, so I decided to rescue a cat. I used to live in Jumeirah 1, so my local restaurant and supermarkets were in Satwa. They had a pet shop but I always say you shouldn’t buy animals, you should always adopt. I didn’t know about the adoption agencies or organisations as I was still learning about Dubai. I went around the back and could hear crying and purring and saw two kittens. I asked the pet shop who they said they are strays and just help by feeding them. I picked up my little fat cat Buddy, the ginger boy, took him home, and bought a litter tray. I got his health checked and he is been with me ever since! He was my first friend in the UAE and that’s how he got his name, Buddy!”

5. What are your thoughts on the number of stray cats and dogs in the UAE?

“I truly believe that the UAE does an amazing job of trying to help stray animals. There are official organisations to help the animals and the royal family is always involved. They listen to any animal welfare stories and the laws keep getting better and better. I feel like it’s a growing region that’s learning and embracing animal love, whether it be for a cat, dog or camel, or donkey! There is so much love here.

Also through expats coming here and having extreme love, it just shows in the region that we are trying to keep it under control. There are so many stray cats that they try and catch, return and release home, online and on social media. Everyone can get involved with vet programs and catch animals. It’s a growing region that is learning every day.”

6. You’re known as the cat lady on social media and always helping cats on your story. What is the response you get from your followers? How does social media help raise awareness?

“Being a crazy cat lady on social media is massive. It helps with audiences that are not educated to understand animals, and how compassionate and kind you have to be. So for me being an example and trying to show that you can go to the supermarket and buy cat food, you can easily have it in your car and give it to them, you are being kind to a soul that’s in need. If you saw a baby asking for water you would give it so why not do it for an animal, they are a soul too.

My social media has been a major help in education for those who don’t know and a lot of people reply saying “you do amazing and now I do the same in my area.” They end up feeding them too which is a beautiful outcome. This is all I want to show kindness and compassion, that we should be doing it with humans and animals. It’s all about raising awareness and doing something small that sticks in people’s brains – they see it and copy you and that’s what influence should be on social media – a positive influence that teaches people.”

7. How did you celebrate International Cat Day?

“I celebrated International Cat Day by feeding my stray cats in my car park charity where I have gathered some stray cats in my radio car park. I gave them a huge feast with double bowls and double feed then went home to my fat cat Buddy who got a massage with his favorite brush, that is my hair brush! I don’t like letting him have it all the time but on special occasions, he gets a special massage. It’s his house, not our house, we just pay the rent for him!”

8. Do you have any future plans to help the cat situation in the UAE? Or how can people help?

“The best thing I can do to help cats in the UAE is to just keep helping with the UAE government-owned charities because they are the only legal and official way to be helping the charities by doing donations through them. Always give food when you can when you see one in need. If any animal is stuck in the street or hit by a car, then keep an extra towel in the car to pick them up and drop them to the vet.

Just do little things if you have extra money every month, then do a good deed. Dropping off donations, walking dogs, get yourself out of an emirate and enjoy your day with an animal in another emirate as it’s giving back more than you know. Imagine them being stuck in a cage and then you take them out of the cage giving them a bit of freedom. It’s a little bit of time for you to make their whole day or a whole week. If you don’t know where to find them, then just look on social media as there are so many organisations you can find who are looking for help and need help.”

If you love animals, particularly cats, then follow Eve on social media to see her daily updates on Buddy and the cats in the UAE!

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