The Harmony Fund charity is built on the very notion that no animal is too far from reach, no rescue impossible. Tonight I’m hoping to test that viewpoint yet again in the rescue of a cat who hardly stands a chance.
As part of a new program to help street champions who devote their lives to helping homeless animals in places where people hold no affection for strays, we recently began working with a volunteer in Turkey. Her name is Manuela Wroblewski and she’s in the seaside province of Alanya, Antalya, a community booming with tourists during half the year but one that takes on a very different character during the off season.
Though Manuela is originally from Berlin, Germany, she came for a visit to Turkey two years ago. She’d purchased an ice cream cone one day and when she went to dispose of the wrapper in the garbage she came upon the ghastly find of 13 dead cats who had been poisoned and thrown in with the trash. The cats are deliberately killed this way annually before the tourist season in an effort to ‘clean up’ the community.
That moment, looking down in the trash bin, was life-altering for Manuela who has now become the sole source of care for the cats. People have spit on her and thrown things as she carries a 20 pound bag of cat food through the streets to feed some 70 strays in her immediate area every single day. She has pleaded with the mayor to stop his annual poisoning campaign and just this week she hosted a clinic to spay/neuter 20 of the cats, working on her own, taking each carrier to the veterinary clinic. She sold her bike to buy more cat food which comes at a very high price of $30 a day. She’s completely broke but she can’t leave the cats behind. We’ve now begun a search for sponsors who will help with a $30 donation each month to cover a single day’s food for the cats. We’d also like to pursue an ongoing program to spay/neuter the cats.
Help for the Cat Shown Above?
In the coming weeks, I’ll be telling you more about Manuela and will ask her to tell you in her own words just what’s going on around her. But for today, I want to zero in on just one of the cats she’s helping, the pathetic white one pictured in the photograph at the top of this story. Here’s what she has to say about it:
“I am really used to a lot of suffering but I got a shock when I bumped into this cat two hours ago,” Manuela explains. “She suddenly stood in front of me, crying and starving. I fed her, but I am so sad that I could not do more.”
Manuela has no shelter and no means to rescue the dozens upon dozens of cats she’s caring for. All she can do is to feed them, and quite incredibly, begin getting them spayed and neutered.
The instant I laid eyes on this cat, I realized that she epitomizes the very heart of the Harmony Fund’s mission and I wrote to Manuela and told her, “go find her.”
I’ve told Manuela to search for the cat and search hard. If she can locate her again tomorrow, I’ve offered to pay for her veterinary care and transportation to the United States. She will stay in foster care here in my home, and well, sometimes the fosters stay for a lifetime. There’s already a small herd of cats and dogs here and even a bunny, but there’s always room for one more.
So for those of you who are so inclined, please say a little prayer today that we’ll find this dear cat and perhaps you can help us choose a fitting name for her.
Visit the Harmony Fund website here if you’d like to learn more about our work or to make a donation to sponsor Manuela’s work with the cats. (all donations that come in our website today will be automatically earmarked for this purpose)