The Forum reported yesterday about a 19 cat rescue effort and a man who is now homeless after the home he was living in was condemned and demolished. The story was more about the cat rescue than about how Lee Seley arrived at that point in his travels or what he was going to do next. It seems that Mr. Seley’s concern was not about himself, but instead about the cats that he had amassed at the home.
I imagine most folks believe they have heard this story before – crazy cat person gets carried away and eventually someone steps in to address it only to find that the party’s original good intentions have gone awry. But this isn’t that story. Lee Seley cared about these cats and they were all healthy. He put the cats’ well-being above his own; indeed, they were in the house and he was sleeping outside. When the home was being demolished Lee Seley’s thoughts were not about his welfare, but the welfare of the cats.
According to Mr. Seley it all started seven years ago when someone abandoned cats near his property. Since that time his life became devoted to his cats which at the time of the demolition numbered 19.
You may think Lee Seley is just another one of these stories of people losing balance in their lives…losing touch with acceptable social norms. But I see something else in Mr. Seley’s story. I see love and caring for creatures that others were not willing to take on, but that Mr. Seley willingly took on – to the creatures benefit, but to his detriment. Tis’ true, it reached an extreme…especially since he put the cats well-being before his own. But isn’t that what we do sometimes when we love and care about someone more than ourselves? In your own lives you may do this for family and friends – Mr. Seley did it for his version of family, his 19 cats.
Luckily, Lee Seley isn’t alone in his love and care of cats. To the rescue (quite literally) in this situation was Minn-Kota PAAWS a non-profit cat rescue and shelter operation. I have come to know this operation, which is volunteer-based and a pure committment of love and care toward cats that might otherwise be left to die somewhere or be euthanized. The folks at PAAWS and Mr. Seley are similar…they both operate for the love of creatures.
The folks at PAAWS have limits on how many cats they can comfortably house at the shelter at any given time. When they have too many to shelter and not enough space friends of the shelter will foster cats for them. You see, Mr. Seley and the PAAWS folks are not the only ones who love and care about the well-being of creatures.
PAAWS has a webpage where you can see the cats that are up for adoption. They have many lovely cats there that are in need of good forever homes. I encourage you to visit their shelter and to not only meet the myriad of personalities that live there while they await adoption, but to also take a good look around at the commitment the close-knit group of volunteers who run PAAWS have to the well-being of each and every cat there. It is truly a work of heart.
PAAWS runs on a shoestring budget (and I do mean shoestring) – if you are an animal lover I encourage you to donate to their efforts (be it as a regular volunteer or via a product or cash donation). Check PAAWS general webpage for more information or follow them on Facebook here. If you would like more information about adoption or what you can do to help PAAWS call them at (701) 356-7877. You can bring or mail donations to the organization at 25 21st St. S., Fargo, ND, 58103.
I don’t know where Mr. Seley will end up now. It appears he is homeless in the short term, but God bless him and PAAWS as his cats are all alive and well. In my book that makes both Mr. Seley and PAAWS the heroes in this story.
Day seven hundred and fifty-four of the new forty -obla di obla da