Is this my dream job or what?
In July 2019, there was an application advertised for anyone who’d be interested in taking care of cats while living on a beautiful Greek Island. I can only imagine the thousands of applications the employer had to pore through. Who could refuse a chance at the dream life on a platter of gold, complete with adorable, soul-lifting cats?
God’s Little People Cat Sanctuary is a non-profit that rescues stray cats on the Greek island of Syros. They advertised the job on Facebook, detailing that the employee would have to care for the 55 cats that Joan Bowell, artist, and her husband rescued over the years. Okay, maybe 55 cats can’t be that easy to take care of.
Greece has a high population of homeless cats in need, so Bowell and her husband have been doing an amazing job. However, she’d been doing the job for a long while and needed a break.
She wrote on Facebook. “This is genuine and NOT a joke – friends, please feel free to verify!” The ideal candidate was “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.
The chosen one
As expected, Bowell received over 35,000 applications from her viral post. Everyone claimed to be the total cat-whispering guru, but apparently, someone stood out. Bowell chose Jeffyne Telson to spend the winter caring for the cats.
Telson lives in California but spends most of her winters in Oregon. She is a cat lover with a lot of experience taking care of the furry creatures at her own domestic rescue organization RESQCATS.
Telson recently wrote on Facebook that she almost didn’t send out the application, although her husband was in total support of it.
“…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.”
Mitch encouraged his wife to apply for the job, saying “…this job has your name written all over it! It’s a chance to live your dream…”
Bowell was awed by Telson’s 21 years of experience with rescue cats and flew down to Santa Barbara to meet with Telson in person.
What Telson did next shocked everyone.
“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 true cat lover working with a purpose.
Adjusting to the new environment
Not much later, Telson flew out to the small island with a population of only 22,000 people and about 13,000 stray cats. She took time getting accustomed to caring for cats outside since her organization housed their cats indoors.
Thankfully, the scene is always beautiful as the cats are protected in a preserve when they get to run around chasing each other, lazily soaking up the sun or giving butterflies hot chases.
Bowell and Telson also decided to take on a special project together:
“[Bowell] 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.”
They encountered a lot of cats in need which was emotionally testing for Telson.
“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.”
The entire experience was life-changing for Telson and she’d decided to review her approach to cat rescue.
“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!”
It seems like Bowell chose the right person for the job out of all of those thousands of applicants. Telson describes her experience at God’s Little People as follows:
“Saving one cat will not change the world, but for that one cat…the world will change forever.”
Would you like to visit the sanctuary? That is possible! Bowell has created a guest house that can be rented. Get in touch via the rescue’s Facebook page.
Image Credits: God’s Little People Cat Sanctuary via Facebook
- “God’s Little People Cat Rescue.” Facebook November 10, 2018.
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This content was originally published here.