11-year-old Ukrainian girl takes on responsibility of feeding abandoned cats in devastated Ukraine
NEWS AND OPINION: The remarkable aspect of this cat rescue story is that the central character is an 11-year-old Ukrainian girl feeding abandon cats in a devastated urban landscape, destroyed by Putin’s artillery and rockets. When she talks to the camera, she points up to the 9th floor of a shattered apartment block and tells the interviewer that that is where she lived. She even knows where her belongings are within the block: they fell to the 5th floor.
She loves cats. She had a domestic cat of her own. But when they were made homeless her cat became feral and does not want to associate with her anymore.
She expresses her love for cats by feeding those that have survived or continue to try to survive in freezing conditions and in such a hostile landscape.
She has a favourite who she says looks as if she’s been groomed by a human as her coat is in such good condition. This is the cat you see in the photograph below (a brown tabby).
The photograph is a screenshot from the video which I cannot embed for you to see on this page but if you click on this link you can see it online if it is still there!
The girl’s name is Veronika Krasevych. Such an adult character and approach to animal welfare from such a young girl. She sounds like an adult when she talks about cats.
Perhaps she is growing up rapidly as she must. Her mother is tearful. Veronika asks her not to cry when she is talking to the interviewer. The mother agrees not to. It is Veronika who is the stalwart in these troubling times.
She lives in northern Ukraine. Her home was destroyed by shelling during the early months of the war. I also believe that she lives in the basement, below the skeleton of the apartment block that was once her home.
She decided to feed the abandon cats when she went out to search for her cat Masik. She wanted to feed the cats because he felt sorry for them. And this started her on a mission to look after these vulnerable cats who have lost their homes and I am sure on occasions their owners as well.
Comment: you feel that somebody else needs to work with Veronika. She is doing great work. She deserves all our praise. But it seems to me that the cats need more. They need somewhere warm to go. Their coats need grooming and of course they will need veterinary care. Is that possible? I very much doubt it.
Perhaps the cats go into the basement with Veronika but I don’t think so. I expect that any animal shelter that was in operation has now been destroyed. I don’t think it’s really possible to adequately care for cats without homes to one’s satisfaction when they are wandering around a destroyed urban landscape in a war. Veronika’s heroic efforts are a great beginning but what happens if one of the cat becomes ill?
And is cat food available in Ukraine at the moment? And what kind of cat food as it? Too many questions I guess but this is not the sort of situation where you can do normal cat rescue work.
“I go around the house and I look for stray cats to make sure they have food. I even know where they live. They do not live here because it’s very cold. We wanted to take him [her cat]’s home but it was not possible any longer [as] he did not want to come with us.”
She treats her former cat as a feral and feeds him just like the others. Like others, she does not know how it is all going to end. She lives day by day and helps to keep her feral cat family alive in the meantime.
Source: Metro.co.uk and the video.
Network for Animals has been on the ground since the war began. They have brought in 1000’s of pounds of food and vet supplies and have moved 1000’s of animals to Poland. Some of their people have been shot and bombed and killed. Their work to save these poor animals is heroic.