Woman spends £13.7k to rescue stray kittens she found on holiday
She spent her house deposit on making sure the kittens were healthy and had a home
Kelly Walker, 43, had moved back in with her mum following a divorce and to lift her spirits with lockdown two approaching, opted to book herself a holiday to Turkey in November 2020.
After arriving at the picturesque Antalya, she came across two stray kittens living rough on the cliffs that surround the seaside resort. By her assessment, the two moggies were close to death and so she decided she needed to do something.
Not only did she set up a feeding station to begin gaining the kittens’ trust but she eventually took them to a local vet for medical attention which ended up costing approximately £3,000 – the entire amount of money she’d saved up for a house after moving back in with her mum.
The cats were now vaccinated and neutered but Kelly had to return to the UK - however she didn't want to go without them; as she told the Metro, "There are millions of cats. It’s like what cat do you choose? But there were these two, and the littlest one, she was so thin. She was starving."
She went to explain: "That money [her mortgage savings] wasn’t just for spending on nothing, but I just couldn’t leave these poor littles souls like that with nobody to help them. I thought well, it’s not that bad – people in this lockdown have been buying dogs for like thousands of pounds, and I’m actually helping two cats." And with that she was more motivated than ever.
In January of 2021, Walker made her first attempt to fly back to Turkey via the roundabout route of Romania and Istanbul but was unfortunately stopped in Istanbul due to covid restrictions.
She was then told she had to isolate in a Turkish hostel and after saying she couldn't do that, was then confined to the airport, stranded and with limited access to food and drink for a number of days. She ultimately decided to go home but had to do so without her beloved kittens.
Following the already stressful saga, Walker was then told the cats could either be released back onto the streets or put down. She wasn't having any of it and managed to find them accommodation in a ‘pet hotel’, paying for their stay until she could fly back in October 2021.
Walker then went back to the airport with the cats and "was told point-blank: 'This is not possible. You cannot fly these into the UK from here'."
Having already spent around £12k and being forced to ask a number of airlines for help, she was understandably exasperated. Thankfully, she managed to get in touch with an animal rights group who were eventually able to get the stray kittens back to the UK.
Kelly was finally reunited with her kittens, who she called Harriet and Delilah, on October 23. When asked whether it was worth it, she said: "I don’t make a lot of money – I’m only a hairdresser – but it made me feel like I’d done something worthwhile. I absolutely love animals, they’re my passion."
Kelly, you're a legend and we're sure Harriet and Delilah will have a wonderful life with you.
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