Maria Delk was never really a ‘cat person.’ But the stray cats in her neighborhood didn’t seem to get this memo because they kept appearing at her door!
Delk’s journey from cat skeptic to cat lover began in 2016. One evening, Delk and her husband were getting ready for bed when they heard meowing. The meowing kept going on and on, and so Delk’s husband finally went to see what was going on.
Delk’s husband found a tiny kitten lying outside on the sidewalk. She was clearly sick and in pain.
“I thought she was dying,” Delk told The Dodo. “It looked like her eye was gone.”
Delk and her husband brought the sick kitten over to the animal hospital for much-needed treatment. Thankfully, she bounced back quickly, and the veterinarian was able to save her eye. Delk and her husband fell in love with the kitten, and they decided to adopt her. They named the sweet cat Grace.
Delk thought that this would be the end of her cat rescuing days. But to her surprise, more and more cats kept showing up.
There’s Gandalf the Grey, who was living in the bushes and appeared at Delk’s back door one day. Delk took him in too, and he and Grace quickly bonded.
After Gandalf came Bailey, a cat with an infected mouth that needed immediate treatment. After Bailey healed, Delk took him in too.
Amazingly, this same scenario happened seven more times.
Now, Maria has nine cats: Grace, Gandalf, Sophia, Andy, Willow, Max, Bob, Louie, and Hope.
Along with these cats, Delk also provides care for numerous feral cats.
“There are about 15 different ones that come,” Delk says. “I’ve named some. I don’t name some. I’m trying not to get too attached.”
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Delk has no idea why her house became the hotspot for feral cats in her small California town. Maybe her house was built on an old catnip field. Or maybe, the cats sensed that Delk is a good person who cares about all creatures, big and small.
“Some days, I feel like shutting my blinds,” she says. “But I can’t. Because I know if I don’t feed them, nobody will.”
Delk is working with a humane trapper who is helping her bring the feral cats to a clinic where they will be spayed or neutered. The last thing she needs is a litter of kittens to look after!
It took a while, but Delk has finally accepted that she really is a cat person:
“I’m not a cat person,” she says. “But now I am.”
Delk is a compassionate woman who has opened her home and heart to countless cats in need. If you’d like to see more photos of Delk’s cats, check out her Instagram page.
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Source: The Dodo