UPDATE: The Cat Lady of Sri Lanka - 29th January 2008
The situation has deteriorated for the Cat Lady. Hostilities with the
neighbours has escalated. We have heard today that they have now brought more
rubble and sand and closed a small entrance where the Cat Lady was squeezing her
way in and out from. She is now completely enclosed in.
We have arranged for people to take her food and supplies, but these visitors
are now being threatened and chased away by the neighbours who have become very
jealous that this poor lady is being helped by outsiders.
Because of the situation, a leading Human Rights Lawyer was called in and she
visited the Cat Lady but was also threatened by the neighbours. She will be
taking up her cause and has warned the neighbours that if any harm should befall
the Cat Lady, she will take action against them. She will be speaking to other
lawyers about the case. It seems the police do not want to assist and the Cat
Lady is afraid of being evicted if they become involved.
We have explored renting a place for the Cat Lady, but due to the stigma
attached to her skin condition Vitiligo, few people would be willing to rent to
her. The Lawyer is looking into the possibility of renting some land and a small
dwelling nearby and if this is possible, we will fund this arrangement.
Meanwhile there are three Land Monitors in the enclosed area endangering the
lives of her animals. Two flea and tick ridden pups were taken by the
lawyer-both were unwell with possible tick fever, and were taken to the vets. We
have no further news to date about them. People dump animals near the Cat Lady
and these 2 pups were recently found by her.
Before recent events, we have started to neuter/spay some of the cats with
the funds raised, but the Cat Lady is worried about leaving her animals because
of the Land Monitors, so we have sent further funds for a large cage for the
cats to protect them from the predators. Funds have also been sent for a full
health check for the Cat Lady as well as clothes, food and other supplies.
A pair of Wellington boots are also on their way to Sri Lanka for the Cat
Lady as she has requested these because her feet are swollen and sore from
walking in the polluted water.
The situation is now desperate and we still do not have enough funds for a
refuge and clinic.
The Cat Lady has stated that she will only be happy living with us as she
feels she will always be victimised in a society that has shunned her.
Be assured we are doing our utmost to help her in the meantime although the
situation is extremely difficult. We are pleased that a top Human Rights Lawyer
is now involved in the case. However, we urgently require funds to enable us to
continue helping this desperate lady.
Please continue to support the Cat Lady of Sri Lanka, having given so much
herself, surely we can help give her a future living in safety with her children
Take care, Paul.
by Kim Cooling-Animal SOS Sri Lanka
December 31st 2007
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=qvIQ9EFDM_ k
||She once lived in a grand apartment with servants and a driver,
but her husband, who is a respected vet in Sri Lanka, had a roving
eye and abandoned her and their two children for someone else.
gave them no money, and unable to make ends meet, the children were
taken to an orphanage. With mounting debts the home was repossessed
and the woman was evicted and had some of her possessions thrown
over a wall at the back of her former home.
||Beyond that wall there is a polluted stream, like a running
sewer, and this is where the woman made her new home�. a squalid
slum surrounded by rancid garbage.
In her time of need her family,
her friends and her neighbours had cruelly abandoned her. She had
lost everything- her home, her husband, her children and her
||But this tragic 41 year old woman shunned by humanity, has the
love and companionship of her animal friends-40 cats and a loyal
dog. They live with her on the bank of the polluted stream and every
day the woman dutifully begs for scraps from hotels for her beloved
pets. Unlike humans, animals do not judge you, or abandon you when
your luck is down. Their love is unconditional - a virtue we humans
||Sri Lanka has an abysmal record in animal welfare and the sheer
scale of animal suffering and animal cruelty, particularly with the
stray cats and dogs is evident wherever you go. Pets also suffer
miserable lives. Many are chained or caged and few are treated as
loved companions. When we heard about the Cat Lady, we were eager to
meet her and help her. In a place where few will ever care for the
life of a mere animal, we were truly inspired by her warm heart and
||When we arrived at the cat lady�s home across the putrid,
mosquito ridden stream, she came to meet us. She looked older than
her 41 years and was wearing dirty clothes. She was not concerned
about her own health and squalid living conditions. Strangely, she
seemed resigned to her fate. But, she was concerned about her pets
and keeping them as healthy as she could, with no funds.
||Surprisingly, most of the cats appeared in good health, a credit
to the care she was providing under such harsh conditions. We gave
her supplies of cat food, wormers, treated some of the cats for ear
infections, and applied tick and flea treatments. We also gave the
40 cats and her dog a feast of a lifetime, tinned fish-a whole
bucket full! As we placed the fish on the ground, the woman rushed
across the stream to collect some plates. She insisted that her cats
only ate from plates �only the best for her pets! It was an amazing
sight with her cats swimming across the bank to get to the food. We
also gave the cats some milk.
||This exceptional lady, who suffers from respiratory problems due
to her harsh
life and living conditions, touched our hearts and we emptied our
purses to give her enough funds to care for herself and her beloved
animals for some weeks to come.
As we spoke to her, neighbours came out to watch with disdain.
They have threatened to kill her cats and every day they cruelly
||These were once her former friends, but now they were
threatening her beloved
animals, her only companions, her only
friends. To add to the horror a large land monitor-a reptile, like a
and fierce carnivore that can grow up to 3 metres in length,
frequents the area
and has eaten kittens and puppies living with the cat lady. On one
occasion the lady chased the predator who had a puppy in it�s mouth
in a desperate attempt to save the animal. She was slashed across
her face by the
reptiles tail as she fought to save the terrified puppy from being
eaten. The puppy survived but the cat lady
sustained injuries to her face which were left untreated.
||Our organisation-Animal SOS Sri Lanka, will continue to support
the Cat Lady of Sri Lanka, and when we achieve our goal of securing
enough funds to obtain a base for our animal welfare work in Sri
Lanka, we will ask her to come to live with us, along with her
children and pets. She will assist us in our endeavours to provide
hope for the animals in Sri Lanka and be part of leaving them a
legacy for the future.
||When you are involved with animal welfare, many people ask-�What
about the people?� and�.�why do you expect poor people to care for
animals when they have so little themselves?�
The Cat lady of Sri
Lanka provides these answers. Compassion can not be bought... it is
embedded in your heart. When human companionships are lost, animals
are still there for us. They always will be and that is why they are
so special. It is a unique bond that few in this world will ever
understand. For their loyalty and devotion to us humans, we owe them
a duty of care. They deserve nothing less.
President - Animal SOS Sri Lanka
An update on the cat lady- neighbours have now blocked the area across to where the cat lady lives with tons of rubble. It was the area where we were feeding her cats.
They have done this to block her in and to spare them the sight of seeing this desperate lady and her animals. Time is running out for this tragic lady and we have yet to raise enough funds to buy the land and house we saw during our trip.
If you are able to help the Cat Lady and give her hope for 2008 please DONATE