“I always think how it could be if I was a stray animal”

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Many of us have somehow been involved in helping someone or giving a hand to the one in need. You may not remember, but I am sure you have helped by either advice, or gave a seat in the bus to elderly person or donated blood, clothes or money. But it is for sure good to be able to actually make or construct something “physical” that is not only bringing us closer to changesto a better future, but is also showing the results almost the very moment of implementation.

This is the case in one of the projects about cat shelters by my two friends and volunteers. Sena Aydın from Voluntariatul pentru Toți (VPT) and Monya Talhaoui from NevoParudimoshave teamed up on this initiative. Back in Turkey, Sena has been a member of Animal Rights working group and a volunteer who would regularly feed abandoned stray dogsthat scatter the city’s dumpster in search for food and a warm place (the top amount of which is almost 400!). Every winter she would also make box shelters for the cats near her house which actually led her to the idea of making cat shelters here, in Reșița.

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Sena and Monya could both notice that near the place where they livein Govandari there are quite a lot of stray cats. Were they left by non-happy owners or were they growing up on the streets from the beginning – doesnot really matter. What mattered to girls is that with support of our organization they are actually able to make a change, provide a better life for little creatures.

The girls have brought the required materials toyouth center and have dedicated an evening to building about 15 cat shelters with participation of other volunteers. Being made out of carton boxes, styrofoam, bright color plastic bags and with cute stickers – the sheltersare very warm and cozy for the cats andat the same time are eye-catchy – for people to not confuse them for garbage and to not throw away. The shelters’ making workshop finished symbolically by everyone taking one to their home area and placing it outside. Guys took some pictures and videos when they could see “guests” cozying up in their new homes.

As soon as the activity came to light, everyone was quite happy and amazed. The volunteers felt they did something important and productive, the organizers saw they are not the only ones with care and passion for helping the animals. I asked Sena about how she feels about doing this kind of activities, how does she see it went with cat shelters in Reșița: “We have a lot of stray cats in Turkey and I always feel bad when I see them.I believe I have too much empathy because I want to help them all. I always think about what if I would be an animal–a cat or a dog. I could not have talked and said that I need food or a warm place to stay. But we understand when they are showing it with their eyes and voice, that is how they try to explain their needs. So, in the end we have really good feelings about making cat shelters. When I put one, I am always walking near by it and am checking if the food is eaten and if the cats are settled in the shelter.”

From my personal perspective, I really loved the initiative. I even participated a bit myself when we went shopping for some materials for these cat shelters.

It is priceless to see an actual result of your efforts, time and soul being put into something you are so passionate about. It proves that when we see real and measurable results in front of our eyes, we know it is not done for nothing, it is worth developing even more.

Photos: courtesy of Sena Aydın

Autor: Anastasia Zhmankova

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