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Archives Orhaniye Cat Shelter

Orhaniye Cat Shelter

Orhaniye Aug. 2001 - November 2003
I am sorry everyone, since moving to Orhaniye, there has been no update to the site 2 years!!! Where does the time go when you are having fun!!!!!!!
It's been a very mixed 2 years. Impossible hard due to the location in the mountains, no access road, only a good descending goat track getting 15 kg bags of cat food down and equal amounts of waste out. It's been very hard to work alone, and work alone I had to, because it was too far and too difficult for people to come to help. Electric and water has been unpredictable. But the place is absolutely beautiful. Upper goat bay its called... layers and layers of various shades of greenery.... breathtaking if it hadn't been for the food, the land was too small (1,700 sq. meters) and the locals hating the idea of a cat shelter in their midst it would be a paradise for the cats.. When the sunshine and everything blossoms, the work for the day surprisingly is finished and the cats have enough food, one has a great feeling of hope.
On the other hand, during the winter, rain, black skies, no electric, roof leaking and you don't know where the next days cat food is coming, and you are alone!!! Then there is despair.

On the afternoon of the fire I was busy in the house when I noticed an unusual lighting shining on the windows - thinking it was some kind of eclipse I went outside . . . there's no way you could begin to understand the shock and horror when faced with a blazing mountain side in the lower end of your valley even now 6 months later I couldn't adequately explain my feelings at that time apart from numbed blind panic and the feeling of total HELPLESSNESS at the hands of nature at her worst!

Click here for photo album

The wind was so crazy that day, changing direction every minute the fire completely out of control was hopping all over the valley and within minutes it was above us and 15 minutes later it was behind us.
It was impossible to catch and remove 250 cats. Under normal circumstances it took us about 18 hours to transport the cats from the old shelter to the new one here in Orhaniye. There is no way that I could let the cats free to find their own way out with the fire closing in on all sides. We just huddled together and waited. I couldn't leave them. Friends tried to persuade me to get out - I couldn't!
After more and more firefighters came into the area and people and their homes were out of danger, a few local men of the Jandarm came and helped to cut trees around the shelter and wet what they could with what little water there was in the stream.
Even with this inadequate help, these men gave me comfort and hope - I couldn't thank them enough.
The fire came within 150 metres of the shelter before it came under control. The firefighters and helicopters worked non stop for 3 days before the horror was over.
It's something I pray to God that I never have to live through again and through this experience I now have some good ideas for the new cat shelter for fire defense.

Having found a new place to rent in Orhaniye, we had then to solve the problem of housing and securing the cats. Once again, our Karin Potter from Germany and animal society Hilfe fur Katzen in Not E.V. raised more than 10.000 DM to pay for the new houses, fencing and posts. Karin since then is still fundraising to find the money to buy land for the cats themselves. If you can help please contact Karin by email.
The place in summer is a Paradise but winter was another story and in the end we need a place of our own where we can let the cats be free and not behind bars. This is our last chance for peace and security. Please help all you can.

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