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Cat Paradise In The Jungle, Bali
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Anke Pehle, Founder of The Cat Paradise In The Jungle, invites you to discover this unique shelter for abandoned and rescued cats of Bali, where cats are being given shelter, food, fresh water, medical care and a whole lotta love.

Love Is A Four Legged Word.

 

Before I start, I hope you get to watch the video that was made about me and the Cat Paradise In The Jungle, you’ll find it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGqlgoeVw-8

My name is Anke. I am German and together with my husband I have been living in Candidasa, Bali, for nearly 5 years now.

We fell in love with this enchanting island over the course of several holiday trips here. During those trips, we experienced and saw much beauty and wonder. Unfortunately, we also came across some negative and sad sides of Bali, i.e. the hardship and the misery of many animals. Being big cat lovers ourselves, it’s the suffering of the cats that immediately affected our hearts. It made us very sad and changed forever.

Soon after the last trip, we decided to change our lives completely and move to Bali. We choose Candidasa as our new home base; there, we contracted and renovated a hotel and started running it together. Along with becoming rookie hoteliers, we also decided to do something about the animals and more specifically about the cats here in Candidasa.

Our dream has always been to help them and provide them with the possibility of a better future; to help them get a better life. We had no clear plan or strategy, we just knew we couldn’t just sit there and not do anything.

Bringing the population of wild cats down was one of the first obvious priorities. Female cats give birth to an average of six to seven kittens here, at least twice a year. One could really see how the Balinese were totally overwhelmed with this situation.

Most Balinese did not know how to properly take care of cats and had no experience whatsoever with having cats as pets. On top of that, unfortunately, rumor had it that “cats make people sick”.

As a result, tiny innocent kittens end up being cut off from their mother way too early, and left isolated and abandoned somewhere on the sidewalk, on the beach, in garbage bins or in the middle of nowhere… all abandoned by their mother. They were all severely malnourished, had worms and were suffering severe diarrhea. Not to mention the eye and flea infections.

When my husband and I saw these abuses we immediately agreed that we needed to take action. So we opened "Anke’s Cat Clinic”, a small clinic for spaying and neutering of cats, because this is the only real way to reduce the cat population. So the first thing we started doing, with the help of local vets, was sterilizing the wild cats we could find and were brought to us. Bit by bit, three or four cats soon became thirty, then fifty …

In the meantime, we were living our very enjoyable and happy new lifestyle in Bali. We felt very comfortable, yet, strangely, something in our lives was missing … Our own house didn’t have any cats yet, so we started adopting a cat. Then Two, then three. All abandoned kittens that had to be fed by the bottle and needed heavy medical care.

In addition to opening the Cat Clinic next to our home and our hotel, we launched an awareness campaign: we wanted to show the Balinese the truly lovable nature of cats and educate them about the urgency and necessity of spaying and neutering wild cats.

At first it was very difficult to find an open ear for our concerns with the Balinese people. We got very lucky when we met Abong, a Balinese man with a big big heart for cats.

He helped us to connect with many Balinese families and made a lot of publicity for our project. He was like our PR guy almost from the start! We owe him a lot!

Slowly and gradually, we gained the credibility and the trust from the local community in and around Candidasa.

To this day – 4 May 2016 - after 4 years of running the Cat Clinic, we are proud to say that we have sterilized a total of 170 cats. Each and every sterilization was being paid for by my husband and myself. The Cat Clinic is now respected and known by every Candidasa family.

We have a very positive impact and the change here is observable: the cat population in Candidasa is much smaller in numbers, and is far better nourished and healthier. The number of abandoned kittens has also reduced significantly. More and more Balinese are OK to sterilize their cats and they all turn to “Anke’s Cat Clinic”. It’s also the place were abandoned kittens are being dropped off.

The problem however, was to find homes and loving families for all these sweet little quadrupeds that were ending up in our Clinic. So we decided to extend the Cat Clinic with a Kitty-Kindergarten. So they could stay safely with us, while receiving food, shelter, love and attention, and remain there until they are old and strong enough to get all the necessary vaccinations and to get sterilized. The first vaccinations are administered at the age of at least 10 weeks.

Since the opening of Kitty-Kindergarten, 93 kittens have already found refuge here. We do our best to prepare them for a hopefully happy and long life. Ideally, with a new family who will love them and take extra good of care of them.

Unfortunately, only 14 out of the 93 little kittens we saved, were able to be placed in a good home. It’s proven to be very difficult. The problem here in Candidasa, is to find such families who have sufficient empathy, compassion and time to take care of a cat. Not to mention enough money to feed them, which can turn out to be a basic but very real issue, when you know that there is still extreme poverty among the Balinese population. So it’s the adoption part of the process that can be challenging.

What was the point of saving kittens from an early death due to abandonment by their Mum, only to have to put them back in the wild again, for failing to have found an adoptive family for them? So, my husband and I started looking into an alternative solution. What could be do with the kittens once they were old enough to be self-sufficient and independent? …

That’s when we came up with the idea the Cat Paradise In The Jungle. The idea was to build a common habitat for kittens who had grown strong enough, who were sterilized and fully vaccinated. A place where they could roaming around freely, all the while receiving food and shelter, and the medical care when and if necessary.

It took some time to find a suitable place for our new project. Luckily, we found out that Abong, our Balinese helper with a big heart for cats, and his family, own land in the jungle. We went to visit it and bam! It’s exactly what we needed!

It’s exactly the kind of place I had in mind when I was dreaming of a Cat’s paradise. It was a safe, peaceful and quiet place, away from the road and only accessible on foot. Cats could live there undisturbed and happy ever after if they choose so.

Without hesitation I rented this "place of my dreams" and together with Abong and his family. And together we started to create the "Cat Paradise In The Jungle". We built a few little houses made of local bamboo, which are about 1m5 off the ground, to offer shelter for the cats in times of heavy rain. They can safely rest and sleep there, protected from potential predators.

On May 6, 2012, it was finally over. We opened the "Cat Paradise In The Jungle".

Our first cats left the Kitty-Kindergarten and were relocated into their new home. We locked them up in the bamboo houses for a few days of acclimatization period, and then we opened the doors and gave them their freedom back. I cans till remember to this day, how happy and proud I felt, to be able to offer “my furry babies” this new “community home”. They were very insecure at first, but within a few hours, they looked much more comfortable and actually started playing with each other in and around the houses and the trees. Nothing stands in their way, they are absolutely free to come and go. To live there, or leave, and to come back as often and for ad long as they wish. They are as free and independent as they choose to be.

Twice a day, my assistant Abong goes to the Cat Paradise to feed the cats with a mixture of rice and fresh mackerel caught by the fishermen Candidasa. They also get fresh water every day.

Each cat that arrives in the Cat Paradise from Kitty-Kindergarten are healthy, sterile, have been dewormed and vaccinated. I visit the Cat Paradise at least twice a week and provide them with extra deworm treatments and any other medical treatment.

At the time of writing this, a total of 79 cats have been relocated to the Cat Paradise In The Jungle. Some of our very first cats still live there now, which means since more than 3 years now. Others have chosen to leave over time and found a new home. Or just love their lives as pure wild cats.

Because we spent the last six years educating and informing the local Balinese about cats, we now have more and more local families who have adopted cats as pets. We see families that now have which taken in 4, 5, 6 or even 7. This is a very new trend. The locals have learned how to feed them and ensure their well-being and health. They also keep the rodent population down, such as rats and mice, especially around the houses were families and kids live. Which in turn provide the families with a safer environment to live in.

The cats are now being accepted and recognized as friends. Cats have gained the respect of a key part of the Candidasa community. The entire perception of cats has dramatically changed over the course of the past four years. Cats are no longer perceived as being a danger or nuisance for humans.

For this I am very very grateful. I support these families in any and every way I can. To the poorest of them, who barely have enough food for themselves, I bring dry cat food, and I take care of extra sterilizations and vaccinations of cats they find, as well as medical care of all their cats.

Not only have our sustained efforts brought the cat population down in numbers, but the cats that remain are now much healthier and doing much better. Plus, the number of abandoned kittens has been greatly reduced, which really makes me very happy. It’s always heartbreaking to see tiny baby cats arrive at our Cat Clinic in a very bad state of health and hygiene. We lose at least half the kittens we receive, because of severe malnourishment and illness.

Our entire project evolving around cats now encompasses four entities:

  1. Our Cat Clinic for sterilization and medical care and the rescue of abandoned kittens
  2. Our Kitty-Kindergarten where the kittens stay until they are ready for adoption or to be brought to the Cat Paradise
  3. Our Cat Paradise In The Jungle and
  4. The care of our adopted cats by the local the Balinese families

 

 

On a monthly basis, for taking care of almost 50 cats all in all, these are the following expenses that we have:

 

- 25 kilos/rice per month: 275.000 IDR

- 120 mackerels/month: 600.000 IDR

- dry food : 15 kilos: 400.000 IDR

- Rabies vaccines (which are not always available for free): 625.000 IDR

- Vaccines & Anti-virus complex: 585.000 IDR

- Anti-worm tablets: 160.000 IDR

- Anti-parasite medicine: 2.100.000 IDR

- Staff & Rental of Land: 3.500.000 IDR

- Shampoo (tick, flea & fungus): 200.000 IDR

- Food supplements: 120.000 IDR

- Maintenance costs: 150.000 IDR

- Sterilization: 1.416.750 IDR

Grand Total: 10.131.750 IDR

That is a total of USD 881. Ever month.

 

These are the monthly basis costs, i.e. without any special medical intervention from a vet (which we have to pay). Sometimes a cat needs to be hospitalized at the Vet Clinic run by

Dr. Listriani in Sanur, which again, is entirely paid for by myself. Dr. Listriani has seen many many cats brought to her by Anke’s Cat Clinic. We are very grateful to her and to all the vets of the Candidasa area who help us. They are key in helping us with the educational work of the population.

 

Just to give you an idea, we sterilized 170 cats over the past 4 years. The average cost of 1 surgery is 400.000IDR. That alone is a budget of 136.000.000 IDR / USD 11.826.

 

For the past six years, I have funded this project almost exclusively with my own personal money. However, I cannot continue doing so, at least not to finance it all alone. The time has come for me to reach out and ask help. Your help! The cats of Bali need your help!

 

That is why we launched this crowd funding campaign; so we can continue to take care of the cats in the best possible way and expand our Cat Clinic also beyond Candidasa, as we receive more and more requests to help the cats and the kittens.

 

Please do feel free to reach out to me, should you have any questions. This is my email: carparadise@gmail.com. You can also find me in the hotel I run with my husband: http://www.ramashintahotel.com. That’s where I live and where the Cat Clinic is based.

 

Want to help by donating? Here’s the link to our crowd funding campaign: bit.ly/CatParadiseBali. You can give as little as USD 1 or 1€… Every little bit helps! And please share this with your cat lover friends and family members alike! Thanks!

 

 

 

 

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