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!
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