23 March, 2013

Animal Shelter in Cairo

Touch of Life Animal Shelter in Cairo, Egypt
Vibrant souls are lovely to get by. One of my favorites has more than her soul vibrating, as she is a famed belly dancer, instructor and choreographer in Cairo. She has completely disallowed me referring to her as my dirty dancer, but this is so hard to comply with after our trip to TOUCH OF LIFE animal shelter. That is, you see, what her soul vibrates for - animals. And they are not always clean...

Caroline Evanoff, belly dancer

belly dancer and cat woman

Caroline Evanoff is Australian, but has lived in Cairo lots of years. I met her there six years ago, and wrote about her in my last book. Her nature impressed me. I actually never even saw her perform in front of an audience, but check out the videos on youtube (see her dance here or here) - she is really great. But don't get to exited - this post is all about her affection for animals.
    There are so many people in need of care and funds in Egypt. Why rescue a dog, when there are humans to save? Well... dogs, cats, donkeys and foxes are living creatures in need of love, food and medical care too.
    Caroline is primarily a cat woman, and she spends a considerable amount of her time and hard earned money to rescue and care for cats and other animals found to die in the streets. She is, to be very frank, one of the sweetest and kindest women I ever met.






















a safe haven

I came along when she was visiting a refuge for animals just outside Central Cairo. Touch of Life animal shelter is run by it funder Anouchka Mellin, a French woman that has dedicated her life to the well being of animals. She is hard core, all in.
    A canal with smelly discolored water runs along the dirt road leading to the gate, and walls and fences surrounds the plot. Around us is the typical farmland slowly succumbing to residential brick constructions. It is one of many suburbs looking exactly as this one, except for the lucky animals found inside these premises.


 















 Anouchka meets us in the yard in front of the house, a bit ashamed of her looks, as a donkey or something kicked out some of her teeth the other day. We hand over some bananas and a huge bundle of carrots, which are fed to the goats and donkeys behind the house.
    I proudly succeed to find a lost puppy dog that has escaped from the soft nest inside a car tyre and say hello to the only dogs to be put up in a cage. About fifteen others run around freely, but I am told that the big, tranquil looking German Shepard now behind bars will kill and eat if he is let out, due to bad treatment of the previous owners. People can be such assholes.

my dirty dancer ...  :)
Max and his rescuer




Every animal has a story here. Caroline has a special relationship to Max, a dog she saved from the street where she lives. She is teaching the kids in the neighborhood to treat animals with respect, and they now come to her when they find maltreated ones.
Anouchka Mellin and client
    "The animals always remember their rescuer," Caroline claims, while Max, as to prove the point, leaps up stamping his soiled paws all over his savior, giving my belly dancing friend her dirty image.

families wanted

Volunteers make sure food and medicine are distributed according to needs, as Anouchka takes care of a horse that is here for a weeks care. It has been working too hard, with an ugly infection in the leg. Sometimes the farmers even bring buffalos. She asks me if I am afraid of cats.
    "No," I reply, a bit surprised. There are cats around, and I'd say I act pretty much not scared.
    "Good," she says. "Then you can come into the house. You'd better have your camera ready, they'll be waiting for you."

"Who's at the door?"
"Hi. I'm Fluffy. I live here. I'm a ... dog, right?"
I never ever saw anything like this. Cats of all colors, plus Fluffy. He is a dog (later being happily adopted into an English garden with green grass). Some cats are proud. One is blind. Most of them are extremely cosy. A few, recently arrived, are shabby. A couple of them crawl right up my trousers and continue to enjoy the view from my shoulders. They all hope for a kind person or a family to take care of them and give them the affection they deserve.

Affection in its true form. I am a cat person. Fortunately.
If you do not really like cats, you would probably freak out in wild panic in this house, as everything indoors seems to be moving, with fur and a tail. Hitchcock couldn't have designed this better. But I do like it. It is something very good about all this, and the cats seem to be relieved to be here, largely at peace with each other and their caretakers, who bring in bags of yummy cat food. Fluffy likes it too. I suspect he assumes he's a cat by now.


Anouchka Mellin

wanna help?

I think I will let the photos speak for themselves, and I hope this non-commercial animal shelter will continue to get the funding they need from the friends of the foundation, even in these hard times. It does, of course, take more than vibrating souls to feed all the wonderful animals.

If you feel like helping, your contribution will be very much appreciated. The money will be very well spent, I can vouch for that. If you live in Egypt, you might also contribute as a volunteer or by giving an animal a new home. If you live anywhere else - be good to an animal near you!

For Donations, contact: Anouchka Mellin
Mobile: +2010 1963712
E-Mail : Anouchka(a)link.net OR : touchoflifeorg(a)yahoo.com OR Mobile: +20117385650
Follow Touch of Life on Facebook.
Payment can be done here.

Two of a kind. I love them.

miauw