In the village of Kafr Naha in northern Syria, Mohammed Aljaleel has opened a sanctuary for hundreds of cats. Equipped with an orphanage, a playground and a veterinary clinic, Ernesto's Sanctuary for Cats offers a gentle moment for abandoned animals.
It was Twitter that brought this cat paradise to light. Photos of hundreds of healthy cats enjoying the sunshine in the sanctuary’s courtyard have gone viral, receiving thousands of likes and positive comments.
A cosy refuge for unlucky cats
Mohammed Aljaleel, nicknamed ‘the cat man’ for his passion for the feline species, has been dedicated to the cause of abandoned animals for years. Today, Ernesto’s Sanctuary of Cats is home to more than 1,500 furry creatures. Cats taken in from the street are given veterinary care to get them back into shape, before joining their peers in the big cat square. The felines are fed three times a day and bask in the sun the rest of the day. A team of volunteers also provides them with the necessary affection and looks after their health.
Miss Nour, the woman who whispered to cats . @theAleppoCatmen #SyrianCats #SyrianWomen #CatLady #ErnestoSanctuary pic.twitter.com/QIIVg7TfA1
— Ernesto’s Sanctuary for Syrian Cats (@theAleppoCatmen) May 4, 2022
Connecting children and cats
According to Mohammed, children and animals are the biggest losers in Syria‘s years of conflict. So the cat man wanted to develop empathy among young people by organising animal welfare classes: a 100% win-win situation, as the children learn about animals and the cats get plenty of petting.
The sanctuary hopes to welcome new residents. It regularly shares the happiness of its felines on social networks in order to raise awareness of the animal cause and promote its good deed, which is partly the result of collaborators and donors from around the world!