Naomi Wikane grew up on a farm respecting all animals, both domestic and wild. She watched cats do what they do best on a farm, keep the mice/rat population down. She watched chickens provide eggs. She enjoyed the companionship of dogs.
But, Naomi was shocked to find out how others used the word “farm.” She had visited the Catskill Game Farm, not too far from her farm, back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. As years passed, she heard about how it had changed. Nothing prepared her, though, for what she heard when she spoke with an undercover animal welfare advocate who attended the closing auction there.
This person recounted to Naomi the story of seeing big time buyers from hunting preserves buying the animals, knowing what their fate would be. These were animals that had grown up with humans, trusted humans, and now they would be shot by humans – for a price. Animal advocates scrambled to help purchase and save as many animals as they possibly could from this fate, transporting them to safe sanctuaries. But, they couldn’t save them all.
Naomi was terribly distressed as she watched this unfold on the news. She heard that some of the animals were being taken in by The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS). She felt, the best way she could help would be by sponsoring Max, the cougar, a Catskill Game Farm survivor.
Since then, Naomi has added Josie, Max, Cedar, and Aztec to her family by sponsoring them, too. Though she has no human family left anymore, she feels blessed with her cats and dogs and her TWS cats as her family now. Thanks to a wonderful volunteer photographer at TWS, Naomi proudly displays her wild cat pictures on her kitchen wall, just like she would of any other family member. When her sponsored cats Cody, Zena and Bette passed away, she felt their loss as strongly as that of any family member, too.
Naomi is a firm believer in animal communication. Her TWS cats have given her support, helping her through some tough times. She feels even more like a part of their lives thanks to the cards, photos, emails, and news reports she receives regularly from the sanctuary. The videos she can watch online of their antics are a highlight for her since she’s so far away from them physically.
For Naomi, TWS is a very important part of her life. She values the care given to the animals as much as values the integrity of the Sanctuary. As she says, “I know I can trust my money is being used properly. Your kind of sanctuary is so needed in this world we live in. I’m not rich. I’m very careful where I spend my money. Helping you folks makes me feel part of something that is good in this world, where so much is not good. And my giving comes back to me greatly in the way you respond to me. I’m a real individual person to you. Not just somebody who gives money. I’m proud to be part of TWS today and its future. You folks and Max, Josie, Cedar, and Aztec are a real part of my daily life.”
We’re so proud to have Naomi as part of our family, too.