Jayprakash Satyamurthy's favourite thing about cats is that they always remember the kindness shown to them. “I am a quiet person, and it is not easy for me to handle the energy of dogs. Cats are calmer and comfort you whenever you need it,” he says.
Rescued cat Lexi (Left) and Jayprakash and Yasmine (Right)
This musician and writer and his wife, Yasmine have been taking in cats needing a foster home for nearly 10 years. At present, they care for 12 cats and 25 kittens and get calls to shelter more than ten kittens per week. They are active members of Animal Aid Alliance and founders of the Facebook page 'Moni's Home for Needy and Hungry Cats'.
Despite their work, they are very aware that these efforts fall short of the need. Yasmine estimates that across Bangalore, hundreds of cats per week need a temporary place to stay and recover. There are simply not enough cat shelters in the city that can take them all in.
Street cats' invisible life
The nine lives of cats are a tribute to how self-sufficient cats and hardy cats can be. This is why they are often forgotten in rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Dogs are more visible and attention seeking than the quiet, reserved cat.
But the cats don't have it any easier. “Kittens are very vulnerable to deadly infections. They are also defenseless against attacks and prone to starvation. Pregnant cats find it difficult to find food and jump to safety from dangers. Nursing females also have difficulty finding food,” says Yasmine about the cats that need rescue.
Need for their own shelter
Jayaprakash and Yasmine's earlier attempts to create a stable shelter in their own home have only had limited success. One of their landlords gave them and their pets only a week to relocate. Another time that they lived on a farm which was too remote and inaccessible. The buildings were not made to suit the various requirements of cats.
So after consulting with fellow animal-activists in Chennai and Mumbai, the couple decided to start their own shelter with everything that lost cats need. They want to buy a plot of land in Bangalore and build a center with all the necessary infrastructure. They also want to have a clinic and space for adoption open house events in the sanctuary.
“We will need half an acre land for the sanctuary. We will then build high walls, a play area, a quarantine unit for sick cats along with an operation theatre, a vet and a clinic,” Yasmine explains.
Cats in Jayprakash and Yasmine's home
Incentive to donate
Jayprakash and Yasmine are calling all animal lovers to do their bit and help them raise a cat sanctuary that can accommodate abandoned and injured cats in the city. “While there are many shelters in the city, there is nothing dedicated only to cats. A full-fledged sanctuary will be made with the cats' needs in mind,” says Jayprakash.
To encourage contributions, Jayprakash plans to incentivise big donations. “We are planning to make gifts such as art-work, jewellery, posters etc. to donors who make big donations,” says Jayaprakash.
To be a part of creating a safe haven for cats in Bangalore, donate here.