LIFE

71-year-old Turkish woman dedicates her life to saving cats

Yıldız Şişli, who lives in the Karşıyaka district of İzmir province, has been helping cats for 20 years while walking the streets of the city.

Putting a big part of her retirement pension aide for animals, Şişli brings ill, injured or needy cats to a vet. Şişli saves at least five cats' lives a week.

The 71 year old, who has one child, worked in Germany for many years and returned to Turkey in 1997.

Dealing with only the cats that she looks after at home initially, she dedicated her life to street cats.

Şişli, who is also a local animal protection officer, started work to instill love for animals in society.

Starting her days with the cats in her house and balcony, she then searches for injured and needy cats on the streets. She said that her neighbors support her in taking care of cats, and she is really happy to see that she could instill love for cats in many people, especially her relatives.

Spending her whole day walking the streets, Şişli brings animals in need of treatment to the Karşıyaka Municipality's Vet Clinic. As an example for other people in the city, she uses public service vehicles while carrying these animals to the vet.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Şişli said that her father taught her love for cats at a very early age. She had to have a break in caring for animals for many years because of her intense work, but started again after moving to Turkey.

Yıldız said that she had nearly 5,000 cats cured in 20 years. "I can sleep comfortably if I have a cat treated or give a cup of water to a cat. For example, I think of the cats and other animals in the streets when it is rainy. Even if I am sleepy, I cannot sleep when the weather is not good. I just want it to be good so the animals can be at ease."

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