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Home > Archived Newsletter Messages > ALL CATS eNEWSLETTER - MARCH 2017

Archived Newsletter Messages


Sent: March 7, 2017

Telephone/Text: 256-302-3823
P.O. Box 1095 Dawsonville GA 30534-0022
All Donations Are Tax Deductible

"True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which is deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.” ― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

"May our daily choices be a reflection of our deepest values, and may we use our voices to speak for those who need us most, those who have no voice, those who have no choice.” ― Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Dear Friends,

This is Kat. I am writing the story this month because I wanted to. This is a story Carolyn would never tell. She says it makes her look stupid. I think it makes her look like just what she is: a loving, brave person who will risk her safety to rescue any animal that needs her.

It was just getting dark, not so dark you couldn't see, but dark enough. Carolyn and I were making plans for the next day. We needed to pick up food, take the new puppies to the vet for first shots and find the time to meet with a new shelter that wanted to come see us. All at once we heard a terrible scream. It was obviously a cat in mortal fear for its life. "Where did that come from?" was our first question." From toward the railroad tracks" was the best guess so we started that way; halfway down the hill we saw three coyotes emerge from the trees. The lead one was carrying a cat in its mouth. "Oh, no," Carolyn said, "You go back. Don't come near them whatever you do." "What are you going to do?”, I asked. Starting toward the coyotes, Carolyn said, "I'm going to get that cat!"

When the coyotes saw her , they retreated into the trees. She went in after them. A few seconds later, I heard her yelling and fierce growling coming from the trees. And, to my relief, I heard the cat screech and then saw it climbing onto a limb in the tallest tree. But by now Carolyn was screaming and the coyotes were snarling and growling. It sounded like a fierce fight. What I didn't know at the time was that were were two half-grown kittens under the trees and Carolyn was fighting off the coyotes, literally fighting them, to save the kittens. A neighbor across the railroad came running over with a gun. "What's going on?", he asked. I told him Carolyn was in there, pointing to the trees, and so were three coyotes. His only comment was, "Oh, God" and he started down the hill. Before he got there, the growling had stopped, but not Carolyn's screaming.

Then she emerged from the trees all bloody and carrying two kittens. She sank to the ground and put the kittens down. Her arms were bloody and so were her jeans legs. "Are you hurt?" the neighbor asked. She simply held out her arms so we could see. There were terrible slashes and a lot of puncture wounds on her arms so we immediately called for an ambulance.

At the hospital,it was discovered that her knees and calves also had severe puncture wounds. When the doctor asked her what on Earth she was thinking, her answer was " No coyotes are killing cats on my watch." She has 24 stitches in one arm and 32 in the other, but has that stopped her from patrolling the trees every day looking for coyotes? The answer is a resounding "NO"!

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ADOPTIONS - Some good news this month. We have adopted out eight more dogs. This was a joint effort by four shelters. Our dogs were voted "The Most Adoptable" of all dogs there. That is because, to a dog, all were friendly and obviously well loved and cared for. We really do try hard to give them our best. Thanks to all of you for making that effort possible.

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WISH LIST - We need paper towels, garbage bags, and a couple of very good water hoses. Also, washing detergent and syringes (the small ones like are used for insulin, but we will gladly accept any size). We have several cats that have come down with a respiratory problem and we use the syringes to give them their liquid medicine. We also need rubber gloves.

We always need gasoline cards, Lowes, Walmart, Target, Home Depot and any food store gift cards. Gravel is needed and extra money to get the water leak fixed would be most appreciated. We are still having to cut the water off after every use to keep our bill down. As of today, our electricity has been off for four days. We simply haven't had the money to pay the bill. But, we are going to bed at an early hour and getting up very early too. Lucky for us, the weather has been mild. But that is subject to change at any time. I am sure we will be needing heat soon, and I would like to have the fridge working again.

The transmission is still out in my car. We DESPERATELY need it fixed. See details below.

• We have a water leak that is keeping our grounds wet and muddy. To fix this leak, the water line must be dug up. We can't tell exactly where the leak is, so it may require the entire line be dug up. As it stands now, the water is coming down the hill and surrounding our cat building. I have to turn off the water at the meter by the road when it is not in use or risk a large water bill.

• My car has been in the shop for the last four days. We can't find where the oil is going. The car doesn't smoke or leak, but it requires oil almost every day. A real puzzler. It is very hard to depend on others for transportation. In fact, it is almost impossible as no one understands the urgency of the needs of a shelter unless they actually run one.

• We also desperately need a load of gravel for our driveways. They are next to impossible to traverse.

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IN HONOR OF - From Misty Saldi “in honor of my Uncle Archie Gaddis’ 80th birthday on January 31. He is actually my great uncle and like another grandfather to us. He has always been a dog lover His most recent dogs include Sassy (Boston Terrier), Smokie Joe (Pug) and currently Sammy (Bichon). This donation is in honor of them as well. Thank you for all of your wonderful work and dedication.”

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To Vicky Murphy once again for your monthly on-line support. Being able to count on your support each and every month is so appreciated.

To Jamie Reagin for your very generous food donation and stamps.

To Mary Jane Johnson for continuing to help both the shelter and me with your on line support each and every month.

To Gloria Young for sending a donation to purchase a Swiffer electric floor cleaner. This has been a back saver. No more hard scrubbing!! Wonderful!

To Kathy Beckman for sending a much appreciated Lowes card.

To Rob and TJ Richie for sending “a little extra for Chewy for Valentine’s Day.”

To Lois Holbrook for sending a supply of stamps.

NOTE: We are getting low on stamps. If you can send them, please do!!

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Gift cards for any store at which we can buy items needed at the shelter, such as bleach, detergent, tall kitchen bags, paper plates, Pine-Sol, brooms, scrub buckets, dishwashing liquid, dry cat and dog food, cat and dog treats, and paper towels. Walmart, Kroger, PETCO, Home Depot, Lowes and PetSmart cards are especially welcome.

Purchase of gasoline is a major expense. Gift cards would help a lot. Nearby stations include Chevron, Amoco, Conoco, BP, Shell and Texaco.
Any type of animal medicine.

A special gift designated to help with our veterinary bills.

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IN THE NEWS - Even in war-torn Syria, animals have brave protectors. Have you heard the story of the “Cat Man of Aleppo”? His name is Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel. In a life now long gone, he was an electrician. Today, he’s the guardian angel to more than 150 stray and abandoned cats. His makeshift cat sanctuary began by accident when Aljaleel noticed some stray cats lingering around an area devastated by an airstrike. An avid cat lover, he brought them food. Food draws more cats, of course. If they get food, they stay put.

Between the strays who found him and the friends who entrusted their pets to his care before they fled the war or died, Aljaleel now watches over up to 150 cats. Even the Civil Defense force brings him injured cats to care for.

“Any stray cats in Aleppo, or pet cats left behind by residents, we protect them in this little sanctuary,” Aljaleel told the BBC. “Since everyone left the country, including my own friends, these cats have become my friends here.”

His daily routine is to buy a couple of dollars’ worth of meat scraps from a local butcher. If that butcher is feeling magnanimous that day, he might add a few additional pieces for free. Augmenting the meat with rice and anything else he can find, Aljaleel feeds his feline charges.

When the war in Syria broke out in 2011, Aljaleel could have done what so many others did. He could have fled. In fact, he had a shot at a job as a mechanic in Turkey. However, he and his family decided they had to stay. Aljaleel wanted to be there to help those in need. For him, the needy turned out to be the homeless cats of Aleppo. “I regard animals and humans in the same light,” Aljaleel told Newsweek. “All of them suffer pain, and all of them deserve compassion.”
Aljaleel understands the grief of people forced to leave beloved pets behind in a war zone. One little girl was so distraught when she handed him her kitten that Aljaleel makes sure to take photos of that cat for her. He sends them to her from his smartphone so she can see her cat is still alive and thriving. That’s a good hearted man.

Caring for the cats isn’t the only aid Aljaleel renders. His real job these days is driving ambulances and searching for victims in the rubble of airstrikes. His duty to the cats, however, holds a special place in his heart. There’s a playground right next door, and so Aljaleel makes sure the friendly household cats wear red collars so the kids know which ones they can pet.
Aljaleel plans to stay in Aleppo, no matter how bad things get. He feels a responsibility to these innocent creatures who have no one else to look to. There’s no such thing as an animal shelter in Syria, but building and running one someday is Aljaleel’s fervent dream. For now, though, he’ll care for Aleppo’s cats on the street. “I said I’ll stay with them no matter what happens,” Aljaleel told the BBC. “Someone who has mercy in their heart for humans has mercy for every living thing.”

Donations fund this effort. In fact, crowdfunding helps in a lot of ways in this neighborhood. Because it’s next to impossible to send funds directly to anyone in Syria, donations go through a French group called Syria Charity. Those interested in following the story of Aljaleel and these cats can join a Facebook group called Il Gattaro D’Aleppo. It currently has more than 7,000 members.

Staying in Aleppo is a potentially deadly undertaking. Every day, when I leave my house, I know I might not return,” Aljaleel told Newsweek. “In Syria, it’s only going from bad to worse.”

Take a moment to send some positive thoughts Aljaleel’s way. He’s a courageous animal lover, risking his life for the sake of the cats — and the people — who need him. Few others would do something so selfless and so dangerous. Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel is a special kind of hero.

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