Help the Feline Residents of Cat Shelter Felix

For: Danica's Cat Shelter Felix
Organizer: Felinologic Association Felix
Help the Feline Residents of Cat Shelter Felix (Danica's Cat Shelter Felix)
of $5,500 goal.
Raised by 127 donors
83% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Cat Shelter Felix was registered as the first official cat shelter in Serbia back in 2011 and is located in a small village in the Vojvodina region. More importantly, it’s not just a shelter but it's also the only cat sanctuary in Serbia, a unique cat haven with plenty of open spaces where all of the rescued cats are provided with a lifetime of care in a cage-free environment.

Right now, there are 110 cats at the shelter and almost all of them are rescued from utter abuse, abandonment, suffering and neglect. They are all neutered, spayed and vaccinated regularly and last but not least, provided with permanent protection. Some of them are very old, disabled or chronically ill and most of them have lived the tough street life for years until they arrived at the shelter where they have finally found safety and learned love for the first time. However, years of street life have left scars both on their bodies and on their minds. They have all had more than their share of trauma and suffering and that’s why their long and tiring journey ends here at the shelter. None of the cats are nor will be put up for adoption, they will stay in this place they know and love for as long as they live so Cat Shelter Felix can serve as an apt example of care and respect for the once unwanted, unadoptable and by many people, the stigmatized and ignored animals.

Every day is a struggle to ensure things are kept going and all of the cats are well fed, comfortable and as healthy as possible, which is exhausting not only physically but emotionally as well, not to mention what it takes to properly take care of a three-digit number of kitties. It’s necessary to emphasize that we have never had any kind of support from the state in the form of governmental funding to help or improve conditions for animals at our facility, let alone provide them with adequate food and medical treatment. But even after facing injustice and ignorance on a daily basis for so long, we still strongly believe that if there is a will, there is a way…

Massive repairs to the property that is the home of Cat Shelter Felix have been underway since the spring of 2012. A lot of damage was done to the shelter's buildings by a prolonged snow build up, ice and freezing temperatures during the very severe winter that we had through Europe in 2011. After receiving an incredibly generous donation that was sufficient to cover the costs of replacing the roof of the auxiliary cats’ rooms in autumn 2013, we were impatiently waiting for spring, naively thinking that all of our problems concerning shelter repairs were solved. Little did we know we’d be entering a nightmare as soon as the roof replacement began…

In short, while the workers were lifting the roof beams above the cats’ rooms, the walls are made of rammed earth, so some reed and random bricks  crumbled, and the ultimate result was a huge gap, at least one meter wide, between the top of the walls and roof beams. We urgently had to purchase wooden cladding to fill the empty space through which the kitties could easily climb up into the attic and make it all the way through to the section under the roof of the main building. Once they get there, the whole wide world would be theirs and they would be happily roaming the neighborhood in no time at all, so they were forced to spend weeks in a sort of improvised shelter in the backyard, closed in with tarps. Needless to say, all of the kitties hated it from the very moment they realized it had been made for them.

That wasn’t all, naturally – we’ve learned a long time ago that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. The portion of the roof which was replaced was higher than parts of the old roof that remained in place. Because the pitch of the new one changed, it was necessary put two triangular wooden gables between the edges of the dual-pitched roof to try and prevent the cats from having a promenade above our heads. We had to purchase metal sheeting necessary for extending the metal part of the roof, then we had to purchase new gutters. Shall I go on?

Be as it may, the most part of the shelter repairs are finished and though there are still several issues which haven’t been addressed yet, our top priority at the moment is to make it through the cold season with as few losses as possible. Winters in Vojvodina are usually harsh and freezing, with persistent snowfalls accompanied by biting, frosty, stinging northerly winds and maintaining an adequate temperature in all of the cats’ rooms is not an easy task. Central gas heating costs a fortune to run in the cold season, but there’s no other way to keep all of the kitties warm and comfortable while we are in the grip of a deep freeze with heavy snowstorms and bitter frost outside.

One tank of gas for central heating costs about 1.800 euros, and we will need at least one more if winter turns out to be mild, and two more if deep cold should persist for months. It’s far from easy to raise funds for covering the ongoing costs of food and veterinary care for the 110 shelter kitties alone, much less for one or two fuel deliveries as well.

Could you please help the Felix kitties? Every cat deserves to be safe, well fed, healthy, loved and cared for, yet it’s not easy to raise funds to enable all of the shelter kitties to live long and happy lives. Please, consider a donation of any amount and make a difference in their lives today!

All of these magnificent creatures will be boundlessly grateful for your vital help. Thank you all so much in advance!

Take a look at our website and our blog!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 24, 2015

Posted on February 24, 2015

Dear friends,

Our gas tank is emptying quickly and we have just enough heating fuel for one more week. Although it’s been sunny and unusually warm for this time of year, the nights are still cold and with so many geriatric, chronically ill and delicate kitties, we simply must keep the heating on until real spring, regardless of the relatively mild outside temperatures and weather conditions.

You’re all aware that it’s far from easy to raise the funds to cover the ongoing costs of food and veterinary care for the 110 shelter kitties alone, much less for a fuel delivery as well. The fact that we’re not constantly asking for help doesn’t mean we don’t need it, we just don’t want to be annoying.

Would you help the Felix kitties in any way? Please, consider a donation of any amount and make a difference in their lives today! All of these magnificent creatures will be boundlessly grateful for your vital help!

Posted on February 11, 2015

Posted on February 11, 2015

Repic Lepic is seriously ill. He stopped eating a few days ago, he’s rapidly losing weight, his coat is poor and dull and he looks all shaggy and miserable. When he was taken to the vet, it turned out his body temperature was 35.9 C, he was utterly dehydrated and is suspected to have bronchial pneumonia. He’s been receiving IV fluids for hours every single day since Thursday and is also being given Longaceph and sulphonamide antibiotics. His nose was totally stuffed up before treatment and it was necessary to clear out the mucus from his throat and nose – as soon as he began to breathe easier, he already looked much more lively.

Repic endured a horrific ordeal and was forced to live through a nightmare during the first five months of his life.While he was living on the street somebody tried to pull his eye out, so he underwent surgery. His eye has been saved, but the vision in that right eye is gone forever. A few months later, some male cats raped him and he returned home all bruised and bitten. Quite understandably, he is shy, withdrawn and not people friendly, so he only lets strangers touch him when he is very unwell.

Please, help us provide this beautiful kitty boy with all the medical care he needs! We couldn’t help him avoid suffering what happened when he was little, but we certainly can help him now! Anything you’re able to contribute towards his care adds up and means a lot!

Posted on February 5, 2015

Posted on February 5, 2015

We've been too quiet lately, not because nothing worth telling was happening, but because too many things happened and we really needed some time off to be able to fully comprehend unexpectedly good news and to digest the bad events. Success and failure, joy and sorrow, light and dark, I guess that’s how life goes …

Last year was a hard but fruitful one, with many ups and downs, big dreams and even bigger worries, filled with countless interchanging moments of pure bliss and deepest sadness, accomplishments and defeats. In light of recent sad, tragic events I can’t help feeling totally drained, exhausted, mentally depleted and tired to the core, however I’m trying to make some sense of what was going on. This story might take a meandering path, even though it would be way easier to start it with the end.

The good news, which is not really news anymore for many of you but it doesn’t hurt to summarize, possibly repeat and emphasize, is that some major shelter repairs were completed last year. The roof above the kitties’ rooms in the backyard was renovated, new gutters were purchased and put in place, the metal part of the roof extending over the newly made concrete path to the supporting columns that were built last spring was also added. Transparent window blinds were put up to protect the sheltered area beneath the roof eaves and also the corridor below the renovated roof mentioned above from biting and frosty northerly winds. Several minor problems were successfully handled and many issues addressed while the massive repair work was ongoing and we’re honestly more than thrilled for accomplishing so much.

Unfortunately, last year’s phase of shelter repairs lasted forever and it wasn’t until mid November that we began to think of raising funds for the first tank of gas for central heating. Things couldn’t have looked darker until the awesome Laura Simpson and her very impressive organization The Great Animal Rescue Chase & Harmony Fund stepped in and managed to raise almost the entire sum needed in no time at all. Thanks to all of the wonderful people who responded to our plea for help, none of the Felix kitties even noticed the severe drops of outside temperatures in December as their rooms were properly heated and pleasantly warm. The first shipment of heating fuel is supposed to last until the end of February and then we’ll have to find a way to raise the funds for another gas delivery.

We’ve been quite lucky this winter as to snow so far, we had two brief snowfalls and weren’t snowed in just yet. However, I’m not holding my breath as we’ve been cut off from the world by snow at least twice every winter since the shelter was founded and the cold season is far from finished. Right now the days are cold, sometimes sunny and bright, sometimes dark and gloomy. The ground is frozen in the morning and night temperatures are below zero, but maybe this winter will be a dry one, even though I can’t believe we’re that lucky.

Over the last few weeks we’ve lost all three kittens that arrived from Belgrade where they had been living at a construction site. They were all born with incurable FIP and I still can’t pull myself together. I took them in last autumn wishing to give them a chance at a nice, fulfilled and pampered life here at the shelter, but I had no possible way of knowing they were all doomed from the start. My brave little sweeties put up a hell of a fight and tried to stay with me for as long as they could, but the dreadful and most feared virus affecting cats against which there’s no known cure always wins. The deadliest cat disease has claimed three more angels…

Sadly, we all know that misfortunes never come singly and when it rains, it pours. My gorgeous black panther Njanja, who’s been struggling with health issues for more than a year, finally gave up the fight. After all of the injections, UV scans, various drugs and treatments that we hoped would make him feel better, he was just too tired and worn out to be able to fight anymore. He passed away peacefully in his sleep and took a piece of my heart when he left. Even though I’m totally shattered and the world is hollow, bleak and dark without him, I know there is now a new star shining in the deep blue of the night…

But life must go on, there will be many more heartbreaks mixed with delights, more sorrow and more joy, new challenges and new demands, but those who had to leave to where we can’t follow just yet, will never be absent from our hearts. And somehow, together with all of the others who are still brightening our lives, they too give us the strength to carry on, even when we think we can’t endure another day. It’s the start of a brand new year and we must look ahead with optimism and hope that this year will be our best year yet.

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