Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Zoe's Kitty Party has been much more than just a "party"... We have met lots of sweet kitties from allover the world (and the Party is still open!) and lots of wonderful cat-Moms, and made some amazing friends. Today Zoe has asked me to talk about a special friend of kitties, who is doing an amazing and heartwarming work to help kitties in need on a Greek island...

What happens when art meets a huge love for animals? You meet Joan!
Joan is originally from Denmark but she lives on a small Cycladic island, in Greece. She is a talented artist and has been a successful textile and accessories designer back in her Danish days -- her work being featured in magazines and carried by celebrity shops. But since she and her husband have chosen this little Greek island as their permanent home, Joan has found her true life path in helping cats in need.
Before moving permanently, Joan had already spent her spare time looking up websites run by people rescuing Greek animals (cats in particular) and she helped them as much as she could from a distance. She says: "I felt such an urge to hold and to heal the horribly looking little cats (an to give them a loving home really). Well that all became very real when we moved here two years ago, even though I initially felt a bit daunted by the prospect when the first sick cats began to appear on my doorstep. In no time 2 became 10, 10 became 20, 20 became 30 - and yes, I've sadly lost two of my most incredible rescues (also a precious girl named Noona) but the numbers are still counting. And now I actually have to deliberately look away as I have reached an absolute limit around my own home. Yes, if I won a million or more I know exactly how I would spend them!!".

- Pesto -

Joan is a courageous woman who has found her own inner balance in putting her artistic talents to the service of her sweet, little rescues. She says: "It was a really bad winter. But a life is always replaced by another cat in dire need and I do find it deeply frustrating just how many cats are in need of rescuing. I've completely had to alter my view of what a "real" desperate cat looks like. Nothing like my former view that each cat belongs indoor on a soft duvet!! Within the last 1 1/2 years I've rescued 30+ cats - half of them have just simply appeared on our doorstep as they have had nowhere else to turn. We live in a nature preserved valley where there's only two other houses inhabited during the winter time and I know they don't have the same care for the cats. Hence the many drop-ins (which never leave again!). Over time it's become a very large expense and I've now decided to combine my artistic skills with trying to raise funds for the cats. It's really a marriage of my two major passions. I have a background with a study in fashion design, and I've had my own small company designing and creating handbags and accessories on and off for the last 13 years. Recently I've found my passion for illustrating and watercolour again and I hope to get more time with that. I've got many muses and the cats always inspire an image inside my head!".

Joan has devoted her wonderful blog God's Little People to her wonderful rescues: just look at all those little faces and you will understand what moves Joan's heart in this everyday mission, through hardships, distray and sheer sadness. "A wise man once introduced me to the term 'Gods Little People' when talking about animals. The words are so endearing and so full of kindness and compassion that they've stuck with me ever since".

"Their common well-being is such a never ending source of joy" -- this in my turn is the sentence that has stuck with me... it says it all! How does she get the strength in the hardest moments? "I cannot describe my hearts joy at seing each little rescued life gaining renewed confidence and blooming - and becoming beautiful and full in their rightful way. It's rich beyond words to sit at a distance and see them play and romp and strike up odd little friendships. It is very satisfying and makes my heart feel so full". All her rescues live a sheltered life inside a private sanctuary of over 30 cats - safely set in a nature preserved area. But you can read the full story directly on Joan's blog!!!

Joan sells her wonderful textile art accessories through fundraising auctions on her blog, she has an Etsy shop called Saints and Apostles, and she currently has a fundraising auction on her blog
Just pop over to her blog, and if you are interested in her wonderful work and at the same time wish to help her with her wonderful cat sanctuary, you can take take part in the auction (the purses are amazing!!!) or contact her directly. 

And these are just a FEW of Joan's adorable rescues... Each one of them (and ALL the others too!!) a precious little soul saved from hardships and often death, and now living a safe life full of love and care.

- Ellie -

This sweet kitten was found in a state of hypothermia only 10 days old and abandoned by her feral kitty mom after two days of torrential down pour. Ellie wouldn't have lasted more than a few hours (if even that) when she was found. She has been bottle fed and has grown to be a strong and playful kitten. This image is from her first day in the garden.

- Benji -

This beautiful boy named Benji lived a rough "dumpster" life by the side of a busy road and was rescued last winter when one day Joan found him badly mauled and with a flu. He was in such a bad state that it was touch and go for 3 or 4 days but then he slowly began his healing process. Joan tells us that "today he has grown into a huge fluffy lion with a giant lion-heart. He is infinitely kind and is especially good at helping small kittens integrate into our little sanctuary. This is a recent image of Benji in a quiet moment overlooking the Aegean sea".

- Tiny -

Tiny was found as a feral kitten last winter severely weakened from a serious respiratory infection. The vet didn't think he would make it! After a long time of treatment he finally recovered and today he is a goofy and loving young boy.

- Rosie -

This sweet girl was rescued as a kitten, where Joan found her unable to move from severe emaciation. Rosie was in such a weakened state that she only started moving around after 12 days of complete rest. She has now made a beautiful recovery and is a happy and strong-minded cat with a not surprisingly healthy appetite!

- Rufus -

This handsome boy is Rufus. He was found in a town park 8 weeks old and severely emaciated. He lived off dumpster scraps and today - even on a quality diet - still suffers from chronic diarrhea. Otherwise Rufus is a healthy charismatic teddy-bear with a very great and vocal personality.

- Toddy -

This is lovely Toddy! Here he was 11 weeks old. He was found abandoned in the side of a road when he was only 6 weeks old and with a bad case of skin fungus. He has recovered well and is utterly sweet and charming.

And here are just a few of Joan's stunning handbags! Please see more on her blog and... remember that each single cent of her proceeds goes towards medical expenses, vaccinations, neuterings and will go exclusively towards helping kitties in need. Be the proud owner of a high-quality designer handmade handbag whilst helping with a wonderful project! Art meets animal love!!!

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