Life on the streets is hard for any dog or cat, but the cold January weather in Istanbul is particularly brutal for this little enclave of homeless cats. With snow coming down and average temperatures hovering around 40 degrees, these kitties will take shelter and food anywhere they can find it. Luckily, they have Vera to help — at least in the food department.
The kind woman in this video, known only by her first name of Vera, ventures out every morning, despite the harsh conditions, to feed the approximately 350 cats that call the coastal area of Kartal, on the Asian side of Istanbul, home. She, along with other volunteers from the group Atalar Sahili Kedi Kisirlastirma Grubu bring food to the cats and pick up any who are injured or have not been fixed and take them to the vet. They hope to help curb the city's large population of stray cats by slowly but surely spaying and neutering each cat. As for feeding, that's another huge job; the large group of cats that live between the rocks in this coastal spot consume about 45 to 55 pounds of food each day!
Unfortunately, the group’s job seems never-ending. There is no shelter to take the cats in the area, so this rocky beach is where the cats will continue to live. According to one of the volunteers of the group, "there is no place to put shelters there unfortunately. From one side there is sea, from another road." Even temporary shelters or cat houses placed in the area where the cats are currently encamped won't work; "they will simply be washed off. If no [sic], garbage collected will pick them up immediately." There is some solace to be had, though, knowing that "the cats hide inside the rocks. There are empty places deep between them. When there cats appear they are warm."