This 24-year-old pet owner has been rescuing stray cats since she was in grade one. Now, she has at least 52 cats living with her in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.
“Passion ko na po siya talaga since nung bata pa ako. Sinabi ko sa sarili ko na ‘yun nga kapag may kapabilidad na akong magalaga ng maraming cats, pupulutin at aampunin ko silang lahat,” cat lover Sheena Leigh Cabuyaban told The Philippine STAR.
Growing up, Sheena used to adopt stray cats from her elementary school. Her family initially started with three adopted cats until they started multiplying each day.
In 2018, Sheena decided to create a Facebook page for her cats without expecting that it would reach fellow cat lovers.
One day, a 75-year-old woman named Claudia from Denmark reached out to her, asking about her cats.
“Binigyan lang niya ako ng advice. Ako naman po, syempre ini-appreciate ko ‘yung concern niya sa mga cats ko. Tapos ‘yun na tinatanong na niya kung ilan ‘yung pusa ko, paano ko pinapakain,” she shared.
A few months after, Claudia pledged to donate P2,000 to help with the expenses of her cats. She then became a regular donor of her cats.
“Nung 2021, parang tinanong niya sakin “ano ba ‘yung pinakadream mo?” Syempre sinabi ko na, as a cat lover, gusto ko patayuan talaga’ ‘yung cats ko ng bahay,” she recalled.
Claudia granted her dream! In 2022, she sponsored a cat cabin for her 52 cats, donating around P200,000 to build a home just for them.
Through social media, she was able to reach another generous donor. Every month, she receives cat food from Julie Angeles, a pet shop owner from Valenzuela.
Sheena is very thankful for her donors for helping her raise her 52 cats. “Hindi ko inakala na may mga ganung tao, na kahit hindi kakilala, tutulungan at tutulungan ka, kahit hindi mo sila kadugo, kung nakita nila ‘yung purity ng heart mo chaka ng passion sa ginagawa mo. Kusa pong bumabalik ‘yung kabutihan na ginagawa ko sa mga pusa.”
She now spends P5,000 monthly to sustain the other needs of her cats. Sheena said that she wanted to encourage the public to take part in the advocacy to adopt stray cats.
“Please po sana po wag niyo po silang pabayaan, kung kaya po iuwi muna at hanapan ng mga bagong owners, gawin po natin ‘yun. Kasi ‘yung mga cats deserve po nila magkaroon ng bahay, deserve din maalagaan , makaramdam ng pagmamahal,” she stressed.