Thursday, November 20, 2014

Winter Has Crept Up On Us

This last month has been so hectic, stressful, joyous, worrisome and intense with work at the same time that I don’t even know where and how to begin a narrative. The most important and thoroughly awesome news many of you already know is that
we’ve finally managed to raise the funds for finishing the shelter repairs in the backyard at the last possible moment, thanks to the heartwarming generosity of our amazing supporter from New York who sent us $1,500US via Harmony Fund, and
also to the always wonderful Harmony Fund which chipped in another $400US. This year’s phase of repair work was just finished a few days ago; we’ll be facing the upcoming winter with new hope, less worries, more faith and not even the inevitability of several
frosty, snowy, gloomy months awaiting us is that dreary anymore.

However, it would be an exaggeration to say we now have nothing to lose sleep over, as we should’ve started to raise funds for the gas for central heating weeks ago, but simply weren’t
capable of dealing with two big problems at the same time. The gas prices have just gone up (which is not unusual for Serbia, particularly at the beginning of the heating season), so we’ll need around $2,300 USD for just the first tank of gas alone. And yes, we
know that maybe cheaper energy sources can be found and we’re totally aware that central heating costs a fortune to run over the cold months, we’ve been having the same problem year after year, but there’s definitely no other way to keep all of the
kitties’ rooms warm when the outside temperatures are well below zero. The additional problems in this part of the world are the strong, persistent, bitterly cold winds that chill you to the marrow, blow through every hole, drive cold air through every crack
and make the real temperature feel much lower than it actually is. Plus not to mention the uncomfortable truth that we were snowed in at least once, but usually a number of times every single winter over the past few years.
Taking everything into account, we came up with the brilliant idea to put up transparent window blinds (instead of those useless tarps we had) to protect the sheltered area beneath the roof eaves and also the newly made corridor below from the icy
northerly winds so characteristic for Vojvodina – all the while nonchalantly ignoring the fact we have no money to turn our irrefutably good plans into reality. The necessary materials have been purchased on debt and the work is more than half done already; once it’s
finished, hopefully less fuel will be needed to keep the kitties’ rooms properly heated. Even if it doesn’t happen, all of the cats are obviously enjoying their new sheltered spaces and most of them are not just watchers, but they’re active participants and
helpers while the work is still ongoing.

Nevertheless, nothing we’ve done so far ensures that the shelter kitties’ well-being won’t be compromised in the freezing months ahead. Our biggest worry is easily understandable -
winter’s in the air and although the cats seem to be relaxed while soaking up the rays in the yard, the autumn sun isn’t warm and we’re already getting some chilly, wet, gloomy nights. The electric heaters we’re currently using can’t warm up all of the
cat’s rooms and even though nice, sunny days that are becoming rarer and rarer still manage to keep our spirits high, many kitties are sneezing and sleeping snuggled up with each other, which means they’re feeling the cold. They do look content and happy in
the photos when they’re resting on the new roof beneath the clear sky, but it’s also possible they’re actually trying to warm themselves, absorbing the fragile heat of late autumn days… Long story short, the first tank of gas has to be purchased as soon as
possible although we haven’t got the faintest idea of how.

Is it possible to raise more than $2000USD on such a short notice? For some, maybe, but unfortunately we are usually not that successful. I know it’s hard to believe that
the cats could be freezing in a place that looks so nice and in which they’re undoubtedly blossoming, but they can and they will if we fail to purchase the life saving gas for central heating before the real fury of winter hits. Please, help us with anything you can
afford to keep a three digit number of furry, loving beauties warm and cozy in the only safe real home they’ve ever known! The time is rapidly running out! No amount is ever too small and it’s very highly appreciated!

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