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Jerusalem's Old City's Own "Cat Lady"

Many cities are crawling with strays. They roam around and try to survive. And through the years more and more appear. This isn't because they are leaving other cities for a new one. No, they are reproducing at an alarming rate, and it's only natural. The problem is that their living situation doesn't get any better, nor easier. 


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  • Via: AFP Photo/ THOMAS COEX

    But, luckily the stray cats in the Old City of Jerusalem have Tova Saul. Saul, an Orthodox Jew, has been caring and feeding the strays of Jerusalem for nearly two decades. Caring for hundreds of cats, people started calling her "Cat Lady". Saul however, did not enjoy that nickname. She told AFP, "When people refer to me as the cat lady, they are actually defining everybody else as people who won't lift a finger to help an animal in need. So really it's an insult to the human race,". 


  • Via: AFP Photo/ THOMAS COEX

    Saul came to Israel from the United States around the 1980's. She has been voluntarily caring for not only cats but all animals ever since. 

    Across Jerusalem alone there is estimated to be more than 100,000 strays. However, the government doesn't have a plan set to deal with the overwhelming cat population. So it's up to volunteers like Saul to help. 


  • Via: AFP Photo/ THOMAS COEX

    Saul, whose in her 50s, is also a tour guide and Airbnb host. Because of Jerusalem's poor population, the budget is very tight. So any care taking for the cats is all paid by Saul herself. Just last year alone, Saul spent $15,000 dollars of her own money for the cats. Luckily she was able to make $7,000 back thanks to generous donations. 


  • Via: AFP Photo/ THOMAS COEX

    Saul started in the Old City's Jewish Quarter. Where she actually lives now with 5 cats and 6 kittens. Within just a couple years, she was able to spay all the female cats in that area. She usually beings her routine late a night and onto the early hours of the morning. She also goes to the Muslim Quarter in hopes that she will be able to save more and more cats. She sets up traps around the areas and just waits. When she captures the cats she takes them home for the night, and in the morning brings them to the vet. 


  • Via: AFP Photo/ THOMAS COEX

    Since she starting counting in 2009 Saul has said to have captured and neutered over 600 cats, while continuously feeding thousands more. 

    It only takes one person to make such a difference! 

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