HomeGood DeedMeowmmy Knows Best: Furmom Constructs Outdoor Shelters for Homeless Cats

Meowmmy Knows Best: Furmom Constructs Outdoor Shelters for Homeless Cats

A stray cat checks out the customized cat shelter. Photo courtesy of John Wood Works / Facebook.

Home sweet home, paw friends! A resident from Merville Subdivision in Parañaque has provided safe havens for stray cats with customized outdoor cat houses.

This initiative has not only given much-needed refuge for furry friends but also sparked a wave of admiration and inspiration online.

Real-life Cat Woman

Even without possessing superpowers, animal welfare advocate and rescuer Doc. Cindy Santwani has been on a mission not to fight villains, but to rescue and nurture stray animals since 2020.

Balancing her priorities flawlessly, she studies for her doctorate in veterinary medicine at De La Salle University Araneta while managing her veterinary clinic, Furr Project Animal Hospital.

The clinic consistently helps stray cats and vows to fulfill their lifelong commitment to sheltering animals.

The pandemic witnessed Doc Cindy’s rescue efforts intensify, leading her to care for over 200 cats and 20 dogs – more than her home could comfortably accommodate.

Noble Purpose Meets Creativity

Santwani messaged Reginald Payos, the skilled carpenter behind John Wood Works who is known for his elegant indoor cat accessories and houses. She asks for a hand in making her dream house for cats come true.

Initially, Payos was hesitant because the wood he used for his projects was susceptible to rain and sun exposure damage.

After some persuasion, Payos agreed to the construction and seized it as a challenge to step out of his comfort zone.

Similar to a fairytale story of searching for the person whose foot fits the shoe, he and his team researched suitable materials and treatments that make the wood durable enough to withstand the weather.

Wood pa rin naman siya, dinuco finish lang namin siya. Nilagyan namin siya ng sealer para kahit mabasa, maarawan, hindi siya agad-agad masisira,” Payos explained in an interview with ABS-CBN.

(“We used wood still, but we applied a duco finish and added a sealer to protect it from rain and sun.”)

His team also incorporated steel roofing to ensure maximum durability.

The construction spanned almost a week. Payos shared his excitement in a post on social media, which quickly went viral and received applause from the netizens.

The outdoor cat houses serve a dual purpose: provide shelter and a designated feeding area for stray cats.

Santwani was concerned about food left out in the open getting ruined by ants, rain, or the hot sun. Now, the cats have a safe place to eat and rest.

A month after setting up the cat houses, Doc. Cindy continued her advocacy and ordered another batch of cat houses with adorable colors to cater to more community strays in their subdivision.

The new cat houses are designed with secured enclosures, a metal roof, and four windows for extra ventilation.

With these shelters, Santwani hopes to inspire others to show kindness to stray animals.

Kahit ‘yung mga little acts lang din, pagpapa-stray feed, pagpapakain, at saka ‘yung huwag manakit, malaking bagay na ‘yun,” the vet stated in her media interview.

(“Even small acts, like feeding strays or not hurting them, make a big difference.”)

Doc. Cindy anticipates that her initiative will gain traction and be embraced by various localities.

The online response has been overwhelmingly positive, creating a domino effect of comments ranging from gratitude to admiration. Many have expressed a desire to replicate the idea in their communities.

Meanwhile, Senate discussions are ongoing about Senate Bill 2458 or the Revised Animal Welfare Act, a law that seeks to strengthen measures related to animal welfare issues.

Testament to Compassion

Doc. Cindy’s cat houses serve as a reminder that everyone can make a difference, no matter how small their actions may seem. This project underscores the importance of thinking creatively and acting compassionately.

The outdoor cat shelters of Parañaque stand as a testament to what can be achieved when one person’s dedication meets another’s craftsmanship, and together, they create a safer, kinder world for animals in need.

This kind of initiative is similar to what actress-fashion icon and animal welfare advocate Heart Evangelista did as she volunteered to join the PAWS rescue mission to bring food and water to the animals left by their owners during the evacuation following the Taal volcano eruption in 2020.

Another act of kindness during the pandemic was done by the Philippine animal rescue group, Pasay Pups, which conducted relief operations in an impoverished area in Pasay City to help feed stray animals and their underprivileged Filipino families during the Luzon-wide community quarantine.

These initiatives highlight the incredible impact of dedicated individuals and organizations who can be heroes without capes. Their testimonies demonstrate the profound difference that empathy and teamwork can create. They remind us of the limitless potential for kindness in creating a safer, kinder world for all living beings.

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Judith Mariano
Judith Mariano
Judith, a Journalism student at PUP Manila, is a former Altermidya and Balitang A2Z intern. Her passion for writing ignited during her campus journalism journey. Aspiring to be both a children's book writer and a licensed psychologist, Judith combines her creativity and empathy to inspire and support others through her writing.

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