Rescuing is no walk in the park, given the myriad of perilous and unforgiving situations strays have to face on a day-to-day basis. This advocacy is sadly too closely intertwined with unyielding expenses as well as moments of frustration and even grief.
However, interspersed among these testing moments are success stories that make all of the blood, sweat, and tears worthwhile. There are few things in life right now that grant me as much fulfillment as seeing the rescues I take care of thrive and overcome the conditions that beset them. The first two kittens I rescued are turning three next February and spend their days mostly in my room, lazing around and getting fat alongside a nearly two-year-old rescued black cat whose first year of life was marred by stubborn, life-threatening infections and constant confinements, while many of the Metrowalk cats who were skin and bones at the start of the year are now putting on weight, showcasing their colorful personalities more and more as they worry less about finding daily sustenance.
These are just a fraction of the joy-filled wins that continuously drive me to uphold this advocacy with the hopes that I get to cultivate a community that promotes kindness towards animals.
It is only through the support of a community that rescuers like me gain the ability to mount wider-reaching initiatives that can help larger numbers of stray animals, animals in hard-to-reach places, and animals that are in dire condition.
Just last month, with the help of the local pottery community who donated proceeds from their workshops, I was able to organize a CNVR (Catch, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Release) drive that saw 26 cats getting spayed/neutered and vaccinated against rabies.
In addition to the donations received from local potters, I am also hosting a one-man show from September 16 to October 15 at Street Kohi Maginhawa, a local cafe whose owner helped me immensely to ensure that all proceeds from the exhibit will go towards my rescue efforts – these are just two of many initiatives that I am working on to ensure that these cats have a better life ahead of them.
Over the course of the last two and a half years I’ve spent rescuing cats, strangers as well as people close to me have come up to me asking why I go to such lengths to care for what some would say are just animals – if one allows themselves an opportunity to really spend time with these animals, I don’t think it will take long to see that these animals, who are capable of giving love more unconditionally than we do and whose personalities and quirks are just as varied as ours, deserve every single chance they can get for a better tomorrow.
About The Author: Julian Santos is an independent cat rescuer. If you would like to help him help stray cats, please follow him on Instagram at @thecrazycatdudePH and message him.