Animal rights: ‘My Street Cats’

Screenshot_2015-03-30-01-51-47Review of Raphaella Bilski’s book My Street Cats by Anna van Densky

The book by Raphaella Bilski, My Street Cats, is a record of the author’s life in a genuine symbiosis with a colony of street cats: while the animals were receiving food and care, the caretaker was generously paid back by their affection and privileged to gain an insight into the existence of these highly sophisticated creatures, the true companions of intellectuals.

Masters of charms and wizards of enchantment, cats conquered the heart of the author, choosing her as a messenger to convey the secrets of their adventurist lives to us.

Joy and sadness are intertwined while narrating the tale of stray felines lodging in Bilski’s garden in one of the picturesque districts of Jerusalem. However the story goes beyond the sentimental – while caring for a few generations of strays during more than a decade, the author accumulated rich experience in dealing with the challenges that the animals face in an urban environment.

These descriptions of tragic accidents, the dangers awaiting the little fluffy creatures through their short lives and their struggle to overcome their misfortunes, accumulating knowledge and passing it to their kittens – the descriptions make the book valuable reading for all those who are looking for experience in the helping feline race to survive in the tough urban jungle.

Although the laws in Israel are in favour of the stray felines, confirming their right to share streets with humans, as in many other endeavours humans do not entirely live up to their promises, too often neglecting their responsibilities. Bilski’s experience reveals how many feline lives were and still are in a profound need of care in spite of the progressive legislation.

Bilski’s book is an encouragement for animal lovers, caretakers, activists, who are eager to invest themselves to change lives of feline race for better. The passing of her valuable knowledge of a care-taker is a precious asset, but even more thou is her devotion and determination to serve the cause of true humanism. A Renaissance personality, Bilski, a top professional in politics who is also well established in academic circles, selflessly exercises her humanistic outlook to help those who are most in need and often neglected by busy people – the stray cats.

Portraying cats as individuals, tracing their destinies, Bilski reveals their complicated emotional and social organization. This closeness to the human race is not only physical, but emotional, and is traced through the book – one of the author’s undeniable achievements discovering the mysterious and fragile universe of the street cats.

The author’s narrative of the felines’ joys of motherhood, sadness, hopes and despair – the cats have feelings that are very similar to ours. One who reads this book will never look at the most miserable of street cats in the same way again. The book is both a tale and guidance: to read, think, and start caring about felines, and you’ll see that one day you have a chance, like Bilski, to enjoy their affection and an entrance ticket to their magic universe.


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Category: A Frontpage, Animal welfare, Culture, EU, EU, Lifestyle, Literature, Review

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