“If you want to touch the past, touch a rock, if you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.” -Author Unknown
Ukrainian pets represent what animals go through in violent power disputes. The media shows women, seniors and children holding their animals in shelters as they flee from harm. Animals are terrified and unaware why they have been taken from their once-safe home and are now among thousands of panicking families on the move, in shelters or cold camps.
The humanitarian crises have forced people to abandon their pets. They can’t carry food/water/necessities for both their pet and human family.
The Kiev Cat Café owners love their 20 cats. They remain behind because they don’t have the ability to transport their furry employees. As we pray for the pets and people, here are two women’s stories illustrating the attempts of strangers to assist fellow humans and pets.
On a Persian Cat Facebook page, I saw a woman in Kyiv (Kiev, Ukraine,) holding her Silver Chinchilla Persian praying as they were listening to explosions. (Name and photo are not included to protect them).
They have not fled like millions of terrorized residents in the face of war. Their caption read, “My cat and I are listening to explosions. We will stay here until we win. We don’t afraid now. God and truth on our side. Here is a very special spirit of unity. I feel all of your prayers.”
Then 700 miles away, a helping hand from a stranger in Prague, Czech Republic: “Please stay safe,” wrote Danielle. “If you decide to leave Ukraine, we are in Prague and offer you a safe, cat-friendly home. Please, please message me if you need help. If anything changes, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Even if we are hosting another family, we will find somewhere safe for you and your beautiful fur babies. God bless and protect you. Sending love and prayers.”
I contacted Danielle and she responded, “It’s a desperate situation; one I never thought we would experience in 2022 in Europe. The Czech people are preparing their homes to take in refugee families. People come first, but my heart breaks for their precious fur babies too. I couldn’t imagine leaving my fluffy boys behind.”
Danielle has the same breed of cat as the ‘Kitty in Kyiv’, Andie’s, and mine, a Silver Chinchilla Persian. Everyone has similarities, no matter what our governments do and say. This week, Danielle is expecting a Ukrainian family, strangers in need, to join her family. She adds, “We have volunteered to take a family with cats, we wait and see what happens.”
Dearest Readers, the four of us ladies (Andi, Danielle, myself and the Kyiv Kitty’s mother) live in four different countries, yet we are connected through our beloved cats and the internet. May Kyiv Kitty’s story teach compassion and understanding of animals and the trauma of war. Ukrainian families are like ours; last week they were making payments on their homes, had jobs, children to feed, dogs to walk and cats walking across them in bed waking them up. Today their world is upside down.
I checked the Internet for three nights and days, waiting for ‘Kyiv Kitty’s’ mother to post an update. She never did. Are they in a bomb shelter? Is the woman hurt or fleeing with her cat? Are they out of power and can’t charge devices? Will we ever hear from them again? If we do, you will be first to know. Also, we will follow up on Danielle’s as she hosts a refugee family and their pets.
Thank you for joining others around the world, praying for a speedy-peaceful resolution for people and pets. Hold your families a little closer today as you count your many blessings.
Contact Ukrainian Churches in your area and ask what help is needed. Many are setting up temporary homes for arriving pets and people, supporting orphanages, animal shelters, zoos or refugee camps. They may need your hands, computer or translation skills, financial help, or household articles. We know that all the beings involved have your heart.
Kiev’s Kitty Café video: Live www.facebook.com/catcafelviv
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Cottage Grove Humane Society for Neuter/Spay Assistance Program: 541-942-3130