A place where light lives

Olga first found herself abroad in 2012, when she was taking little Polina. Six monthsbefore that, Polya and her mother Sveta had come to a friend on a winter holidays toAustria. Suddenly Sveta had a fever, in the hospital she was shockingly diagnosed -acute leukemia. Olga was helping her friend as best as she could, she was collectingmoney in Russia for a treatment. A month before her death, Sveta was placed in ahospice.  

Sveta called me and said: “That’s all. I can’t take it anymore.” I realized that I urgentlyneeded to fly to pick up Pauline.  

Sveta died on September 11 The same evening Olga and Polina flew to Russia toavoid problems with Austrian guardianship, with Russian guardianship there wereplenty of them as well. At the time of custody, Olya had two children of her own, asmall apartment, an official salary of maternity ward nurse of the Central CityHospital in Berezovsky and a completed divorce with her ex-husband. However, thatwas just on paper. In fact, home is measured not by square meters, but by the amountof love. The love and care of all family members was enough for Polina to grow upas a beautiful smiling girl, who brilliantly finished school and enrolled to medicalcollege. Now she is an indispensable assistant at the Olga’s shelter for stray cats “TheMustachioed Angel.”  

Olga got her shelter for stray cats “Whiskered Angel” 4 years ago. At first, she wasjust helping with food, but gradually caring for the cats completely fell on hershoulders. Every morning Olga’s route lies through an old wooden house, with theonly plastic window in which the lights never go out. With light, cats are much easierto survive the night. 

  The second time Olga comes for day cleaning, Yura helps to copewith treatment and reception of new wards.    

Well-to-do animals do not get here; allhave a difficult fate, and some have severe, incurable diseases.  

The cat Bucks wasfound with his paws taken away, the X-ray showed a bullet in his spine, Bucks wouldnever walk. Because of disability and bladder problems, he should be washed everyday, so as not to form bedsores.   

Kamysh is washed as well, because he has problemswith the gastrointestinal tract and he needs additional daily hygiene.  

Baba Valyasleeps in her favorite bed. Olga took her from a woman with a mental disorder.  

from a woman with a mental disorder. “BabaValya lived for 6 years with her paws tied, on the floor in the toilet. In the shelterthought with a difficulty, she started walking. She still sleeps in the habitual posefrom many years of being tied, ” says Olga.   

Old Kira barely walks. She lived 15 yearswith the owners, but they decided to move and to leave Kira in the staircase. “Kiralives out in comfort. She has the usual health problems for an older animal.  Rightnow, there are problems with the gastrointestinal tract, we treat, we put injections, butthe main part of the time, she is just an old cat that needs love and affection”. 

Findingnew owners for such animals is almost impossible. Olya speaks of them with goodhumor. Otherwise, one can go crazy with pity. Each look of her cats is filled with gratitude for the opportunity to live, to receive a portion of care and affection, to sleepin warmth and to eat specially selected food. 

There are much more healthy orrecovered cats in the shelter, they joyfully run to meet, rub on the feet, purr and havefun games while Olya and Yura are cleaning.  

Olga is always in a hurry. Aftercleaning, she goes to do therapeutic massage, this is her main income, the nurse’ssalary is not enough. Nevertheless, even in the hectic and rush, she doesn’t forget totell every pet a good word and caress. Dogs sometimes get into the cat’s shelter, theyquickly find a common language with cats. At the time of filming, a puppy wasbrought to the shelter; unknown people cut off her ears and threw her out into thestreet. The financing, finding new homes and treatment of the inhabitants of the"Whiskered Angel” lies mostly on Olya’s shoulders, and there are enough ordinaryeveryday difficulties.  

Older children grew up, got their own families. However, in theevening at home she is always awaited by Polinа, a beloved man, two dogs and fivecats. In some incomprehensible way, Olya manages to warm everyone.  

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