If you’ve ever wanted to just settle down in paradise and hang out with cats all day?. It turns out that this could be a viable career option!
God’s Little People Cat Sanctuary on the Greek island of Syros posted a job announcement on their Facebook page. Artist Joan Bowell and her husband have rescued over 55 cats on the island over the years and posted about the position looking for a new caretaker. This would be the dream job for cat lovers the world over.
The job advertisement assured people that “this is genuine and NOT a joke – friends, please feel free to verify!”
It turns out Bowell needed a break and was looking for “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.
After receiving over 35,000 applications, Bowell chose an American to spend the winter at her cat sanctuary, Jeffyne Telson.
Telson is an animal lover who lives in California but typically spends winters at her home in Oregon. And she has plenty of experience working with cats at her own domestic rescue organization, RESQCATS.
She recently described her unexpected journey to Greece on Facebook. It turns out Telson almost didn’t apply for the position and even deleted the e-mail with the application, despite encouragement from her partner Mitch to check it out. “…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.”
Telling her he would support her efforts 100%, Mitch encouraged Telson to apply, saying “…this job has your name written all over it! It’s a chance to live your dream”
Telson says she had to get used to caring for outdoor cats since her own organization requires adopters to keep their new pets inside.
But the property is safely nestled inside a nature preserve and she enjoyed watching the cats sun themselves and chase butterflies without fear of predators.
The two women also undertook 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.”
Now that she’s home and reflecting on her once-in-a-lifetime experience, Telson is approaching her own service in a new way.
“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!”
“Saving one cat will not change the world, but for that one cat…the world will change forever.”
For anyone interested in visiting the cat sanctuary, Bowell now has a guest house available to rent and you can get in touch about it via the rescue’s Facebook page.