Nairobi — As humans, we strive to be compassionate with each other as one of the primary cores when it comes to humanity but for Rachel Kabue her adventures in life made her realize the essence of compassion for cats.
For years now, her house has become a safe haven for cats after taking lessons in India that made her realize that ‘cats’ require human affection.
“I had gone to India to study Yoga and while there I got to learnt about something called ahensa which means ‘non-cruelty’. I already knew about non-cruelty to fellow human beings but this knowledge hit differently because the study taught us that we should not be cruel to any sentient beings,” she said.
When she jetted back to the country, the inhumane manner in which cats were being treated was more visible and that’s when Kabue decided to adopt and rescue them.
She turned her home in Mihango into a Feline Sanctuary starting with three cats.
“Back home, cats are known for catching rats and nothing else useful and that understanding made them become exposed to a lot of cruelty,” she said.
“I decided to keep cats because what they mostly need is food, shelter,being away from any kind of trauma, and medical assistance when they need it,” Kabue said.
You may wonder why Kabue resorted to rescue cats and not any other animal given the superficiality that comes with the pet known to have nine lives.
“At first we were questioned about why we are keeping cats due to the perception that they belong to the dark world but after some time people were able to understand that we were just rescuing cats,” she said.
Kabue passion for giving cats a humane living in nature isn’t a walk in the park, she says it can be quite expensive.
“At the moment we are struggling a bit but am lucky that they have never gone or slept hungry. The veterinarian is always here when they are unwell because unfortunately, this is a shelter most of the cats that end up here are sick,” Kabue said.
“Most of the surrender ones are surrendered because they have an issue, so the majority of the cats that come through our door need medical assistance,” she added.
Even with those who criticize her unique mission Kabue offers her soul satisfaction and not monetary gain? She insists it’s for a good cause.
“One of the unique natures of cats is that they don’t make noise. If you are outside my gate you wouldn’t notice that there are more than 500 cats within this home,”
“I don’t see much difference between them and us, the only difference with them is that they cannot go to school or job plus they lack the power of speech,” Kabue noted.
What’s more surprising, is that for the more than 500 cats, Kabue knows them by name.
“At first when they come it’s usually very hard to keep up with their records but with two or three days we are able to identify them without their tags,”she said.
We talked to one of the administrators, Mary, a cat lover who finds cat keeping fulfilling as cats are very interesting animals Mary says cats will only be a bit disruptive when it comes to feeding or when their environment is not clean.
“It’s usually a bonding session with them because we are able to identify their personalities as some are cheeky, and calm while others are playful,” said Mary.
The challenge of the growing number of cats however is that monitoring can be quite challenging especially when infected.
“With cats, flu is one of their most deadly diseases mostly because it interferes with their capacity to smell and they cannot eat food unless they can smell it,” she stated.
“A cat suffering from flu will likely starve because it gives them a lot of nausea so they can’t drink water. The situation makes them dehydrated and after a few days it affects their kidneys so it becomes a fatal disease unless they receive treatment,” she said.