What initially started out as an effort by a mother and son to save stray cats from being poisoned has turned into full-time voluntary work.
Datin Hamidah Hussein, 68, and Rozhan Abdullah, 45, have spent RM500,000 to care for more than 120 cats at their shelter at Kampung Durian Sebatang in Dong here.
"We started rescuing cats because someone was poisoning them in our neighbourhood. We were recommended to place the cats at an animal shelter in Selangor, where we just needed to sponsor their food and vaccination.
"Due to an unfortunate incident, we were kicked out by the owner and had to find a new home for our cats," said Hamidah, who is the widow of former Deputy Minister of Labour and Manpower Datuk Abdullah Majid.
When they could not put up with the high cost of operating out of a rented shophouse, they had to resort to building their own cat shelter on their land in Raub two years ago.
Since then, the two have continued to rescue stray or abandoned cats off the streets of Kuala Lumpur and place them at their shelter.
"This is a totally unplanned adventure. We were so naive back then and did not know that cats could multiply so fast. Now, we are stuck with many cats," Rozhan told The Star.
He said that while most of the cats had been neutered or spayed, they did not have the heart to abort some of the pregnancies.
"This is why the number of cats keeps increasing. We did try to put them up for adoption but most people do not want strays and prefer pedigree cats," he said.
Rozhan said the operation costs for their shelter came up to about RM20,000 a month.
"We are actually facing difficulty now and will be grateful if there are animal lovers who can volunteer to take care of the animals at our shelter," he said.