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Dying New Zealand Woman Seeks Homes for Her 7 Cats

Antoinette van Berkel has terminal cancer and a houseful of cats, all of whom she rescued.

Michael Leaverton  |  Jul 14th 2015


Six months ago, Antoinette van Berkel was diagnosed with terminal cancer stemming from melanoma. The Christchurch, New Zealand, woman has long worked in cat welfare, rescuing, spaying/neutering, and rehoming cats. As such, she has a lot of cats at home — seven cats. And Antoinette’s dying wish is that all of them find good homes.

“All I want to do is get my cats into homes before I die. I want to know they are safe and secure,” she said, according to a story about Antoinette by Beck Eleven.

Whisper

Whisper

It’s reminiscent of a situation in Florida earlier this year involving Joan Price and her cat, Isis, in which Catster contributor Dorian Wagner helped find Isis a new home.

Antoinette’s cats are Max, Ella, Willow, Whisper, Gingin, Buba, and Zak. Antoinette rescued all of them from “bad situations,” according to her ad requesting help on Petsonthenet, New Zealand’s database for lost and found pets. On the site, she has detailed descriptions of each cat.

One has already been adopted: Buba.

“Today I homed my first baby and that is Buba to a wonderful woman and her partner,” Antoinette wrote on the site. “They have a home with a big garden, not far from me, children grown and left home and no other pets; she has invited me to visit, which I will do when he is more settled.”

Max

Max

In a perfect world, Antoinette would like some of the cats to be adopted in pairs — Zak and Whisper, Willow and GinGin — since they get along so well together.

“Whisper is gray and white, she is quite timid but really likes hanging out with Zak and is happy to be with other cats,” she told Beck Eleven.

Gingin

Gingin

Some of the others could benefit from a quiet home.

“Max is a black and white fluffy. He is fantastic with me, a real companion cat; he’ll follow you about and you can brush him; he plays with water and is a lap cat,” Antoinette said. “He would prefer to be a solo cat in a house.”

Ella

Ella

Currently, they all live with Antoinette in a one-bedroom flat that is kept “immaculate,” according to Beck Eleven. The cats are all are spayed or neutered and microchipped.

Zak

Zak

“I wake up in the morning and it’s like a cattery, they’ve obviously been playing,” said Antoinette. “I have no idea what they get up to but every morning I clean their bowls and put away toys. Cats are very clean animals. It’s people who are not clean. I’ve never liked going anywhere and sitting down only to stand up with a bumful of fur, so I vacuum every day.”

Willow

Willow

If you’d like to help Antoinette, visit Petsonthenet or call her at 03-965-3578.

This is just my top, top priority. I can die in peace if I knew they are all happy and healthy and with people who could love them,” she said. “Putting them down is not an option. I know there must be people out there who take on rescue cats, because I’ve done it.”

Via Beck Eleven

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