Sure, Mango’s home state of Arizona is about 2,000 miles from Ringoes, NJ. But in comparison with Okinawa, Japan…well, we can practically see Arizona out the sanctuary windows. I promised I’d tell the full story of the Okinawa kids, and today I make good on that promise.
Sorry, Mango, but you’ve met your match: it is nearly 8,000 miles from Okinawa, Japan to Ringoes, NJ. For a young Marine (who, for reasons that will immediately become clear, shall hereafter be known as Hero Marine), no distance was too far to save three lives.
In 2009, the active duty United States Marine began feeding a mother cat and her kittens outside his apartment. Hero Marine was devastated when his housing agency ordered him to stop feeding the felines. Each day the cats grew weaker, and Hero Marine could not live with their starving to death. Determined to save the cats, he donated $1,000 – an extraordinary sum for a young serviceman – to have the cats rescued, sterilized and given medical treatment.
Alas, the felines were still in grave danger. The shelter housing the cats was to be demolished in mid-2010, at which time the cats would be euthanized by mass gassing.
Hero Marine contacted the Okinawan American Animal Rescue Society (OAARS), and the American Military community raced to the rescue. Volunteers led by OAARS president Miyahira San and Americans Amanda and Andrew Nemeth contacted the cats’ only hope of a long-term refuge: Tabby’s Place.