Cat Village in St. Julians is known to many as one of the few refuges for stray and abandoned felines in the St. Julians area. But after this week, these cats might have one less place to call home.
It’s been around for 40 years, and has been an attraction for locals as well as tourists, enchanted by the cute makeshift corner dedicated to cats, giving strays a place to stay in the urban jungle that is St. Julians.
But with a crane platform appearing near Cat Village this week, the local community fear that the time has finally come for Cat Village to be destroyed.
The Tumas Group, as part of the expansion of Portomaso into Spinola Road, had applied for a building permit for the land occupied by Cat Village.
Their permit will allow not only the destruction of the cat village, but also the uprooting of the trees in the designated zone.
Multiple complaints have been sent to the authorities over the last year, but to no avail, and it seems the plans to turn Cat Village into another bit of construction will be happening this week.
Helen Jones-Florio, a local, said that “it’s such a bloody shame… we see how many people the place attracts,” in reference to the locals and tourists who visit the area regularly.
“As far as we can see, it’s a real attraction – not just tourists but animal lovers, locals, all seem to love the place. And, Roza Zammit Salinos – who takes care of the village – is a huge part of that. She stands, talking to people who are interested in the place, tirelessly. She is quite remarkable. Even this morning, people were stopping to ask what was going on, as she was down there feeding the cats,” said Helen.
“The question is always ‘why? what can be done to stop it?’ Alas, it’s a done deal. The land is sold. To me, it’s yet another example of developers being allowed to turn Malta into yet another generic place, slowly but methodically they are eating away at the character of what makes this little island so special.”
“We joke about how the island will eventually sink beneath the weight of concrete (tongues firmly in cheeks). Sadly, cranes appear to be the architecture of Malta,” she said angrily.
With Tumas Group not backing off from all the criticism and complaints and their plans to build over Cat Village seemingly on its way, today might be your last chance to see Cat Village before it becomes a fuzzy memory.