All he did was love the cats, and that love multiplied and multiplied again.
~The Cat Man of Aleppo
Thank you to Jan Godown Annino for sharing her TIWYK poem with us today!
as people raced death
weapons raining fire
I didn’t know of a man who
because of a book
I know he stayed behind
to care for cats
and because he cared
for mere orphan cats
chastised his acts
but I'd like you to know
that in fact
our World has looked
longer, with more love
at his ancient city
a cat shelter
a place of
that, in helping
who are not
c.2020 Jan Godown Annino
Children are emotionally healed through the cat-sheltering
work of the individual who has become known worldwide as
The Cat Man of Aleppo. When news reports aired of Mohammed Alaa Aljaleel’s
quest to rescue cats surviving war in his ancient town,
Aleppo, critics scoffed at his work on behalf of mere cats.
But in the eyes of the world's children, especially fleeing families
who knew refugee centers didn't accept pets, he became a hero.
Poetry Friday’s Irene Latham has created, with her friend,
Syrian native Karim Shamsi-Basha and with artist Yuko Shimizu,
the illustrated story, CAT MAN OF ALEPPO.
You can learn about ongoing healing-from-war work, which includes helping
children, at Ernesto’s Sanctuary for Syrian Cats (Ernesto was the name of a
beloved cat of one of the center’s founders).
You can read an insightful interview, which touches on why helping
animal victims of war, also helps people, at School Library Journal.