Calling all cat ladies (and gents) out there.
God’s Little People Cat Sanctuary on the Greek island of Sysos has recently posted an available post on Facebook which may spark your attention.
They are actively in search of a caretaker who could care for the Island’s 55 cats which have been rescued by Joan Bowell and her husband over recent years.
Secluded AND with a beautiful view, who could say no?
The job advertisement assured people that “this is genuine and NOT a joke – friends, please feel free to verify!”
Bowell is in search of a much needed break and noted that she is in search of “a mature and genuinely passionate cat lover who knows how to handle many cats and would love their company.” Preferably someone with “cat-whispering” skills.
35,000 applications streamed through with American Jeffyne Telson being chosen.
An animal lover originating from California, Telson usually spends the winters in Oregon. She also has loads of experience when it comes to working with cats, having her own rescue named RESQCATS.
Telson recently came forth about her Greek adventure.
“…I never imagined myself applying, although I had always dreamed of returning to the islands to help the Greek cats. The job would require me being away from Mitch and all my animals for several months.”
Telling her he would support her efforts 100%, Mitch encouraged Telson to apply, saying “…this job has your name written all over it! It’s a chance to live your dream…”
After corresponding with Telson, Bowell made the journey to Santa Barbara to meet with the rescuer in person.
Telson accepted, with a caveat:
“I ecstatically accepted under one condition: the offered salary was to be donated back to the cats.
Understand, I wanted the position, not because of the view and chance to live on a Greek island for free; I only wanted to help the cats and live my dream.”
A few weeks later, she set off for the tiny island of 22,0000 people and 13,000 stray cats.
It was a bit of an adjustment for Telson as she was used to indoor cats, whereas these were all outdoor.
The two women also undertook a special project together:
“ picked a colony at a Greek Orthodox church at the end of a mountain road overlooking the Aegean Sea. We spent the next four months rescuing the sickest and most vulnerable, as well as, spaying and neutering as many in the colony as possible. Eventually, homes were found for many of the rescues we saved.”
The experience also tested her emotionally since she encountered so many needy cats.
“I wondered, ‘How can I possibly help all these cats? How do I choose which ones to save and which to leave behind?’ I knew early on that I would have to find a way to cope with so much sadness. I’ve always said that we can only make a difference…one at a time. Somehow, I felt like I was now being put to that test.”
Like all people with a big heart, Telson realized she had to stick to doing what she could.
“I had chosen to see things in a different, more uplifting way. I had important work to do and in order to accomplish it, I talked to myself daily about focusing on the good and not being overwhelmed by the sorrow. I needed to stay in good spirits.”
With a fresh perspective, Telson is approaching her own services in a very different way.
“We all have a chance to make a difference whether it is volunteering, donating to a non-profit or standing up for a cause. So remember, even the little things you do make a difference…and doing something is better than doing nothing!”
With 1000’s of applications, it seems the right person was chosen, handling tremendous pressure and emotional turmoil with such strength.
Telson summed up her description of her experience at God’s Little People by saying
“Saving one cat will not change the world, but for that one cat…the world will change forever.”
There seems to be another candidate lined up for next season, but if you’re keen, don’t hesitate to apply!
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