Saving Outlawed and Unwanted Lives

A Feral Cat Sanctuary

A short history of SOUL Sanctuary in pictures.

​(click on the first picture to start the slideshow)


Lucy Lu                            Einstein (rip)       Emma (rip)         Lucky Luke         Violet (rip)

Linde, founder of SOUL, with Mabel a rescued Beagle.

"Hi mom, they have kittens over at Anja's, can I have one?"


"What did your mom say?"

"She said yes!"

I smuggled the kitten into my room in a cardboard box, I was 7 or 8 years old. I heard my mom come up the stairs, checking on me after I failed to come right back down, so I stuffed the kitten in my closet.

"What's that sound?" asked mom. "Sound, what sound?"

"THAT sound that's coming from your closet, what is that, what is in there?"

I started balling as I opened the door and the little kitten came dashing out, "I wanted her so bad," I cried. I named her Micha. Later it was revealed that Micha was actually a boy.

I guess that's when it started, that's when I got CLV aka the "Cat Lady Vibe". Though I didn't realize it until I was in my early 40s, as I was more in tune with dogs than with cats, that one day I would find a tune in cats, feral cats to be precise.

It was in late Summer of 2002 when I moved into an old, abandoned farmhouse out in the beautiful coutryside of Chenango County in New York. Not long after I moved in, I spotted a black and white cat roaming around in back of the house. I thought it probably belonged to one of the neighbors, and so I mostly ignored it.

One day I saw him near my compost heap where he was eating the table scraps I had put out just a minute before, and he looked thin. So I started leaving some extra table scraps out for him each day and eventually put out a bowl of cat food near the old Streamliner that graced the side yard. I named him Little Boy as he was quite small for being a fully grown cat. The following Winter I made him a house out of cardboard boxes and styrofoam containers, and placed it inside the Streamliner. He lived comfortably for a year or two and, unfortunately, succumbed to a severe infection.

​Not long before Little Boy passed away I noticed another cat on my property, to avoid fights I fed that one in one of the old sheds on the other side of the house. Before long, I got a little... well, three little surprises when I went to feed the cat in the shed. Something tiny ran from my left side, behind me, to the right and scurried underneath the shed. As I turned my head, another tiny one ran under the shed followed by a third one! They were so fast that I couldn't make out what they were at first.  I turned to look to my left again and saw a big, beautiful black and white cat, with a juicy mouse locked tightly between her jaws, stare at me in shock. Shock was in my eyes too as I than realized the little bitty things that dashed underneath the shed had to be kittens!

​I named the mother cat Babushka, Babu for short, and continued to feed her and her babies while watching them with delight, as they frolicked and played. One of the three kittens was found dead in the road by a neighbor, who kindly gave it a proper burial. I named the remaining kittens Mohawk and Pooh Bear.

​Rescue, or cats for that matter, did not really come naturally to me as I did not think to catch the cats and have them fixed. I built them a nice shelter inside the old shed so they'd be warm and safe. I brought them food and water faithfully every day, and sat for long periods of time in a corner of the shed in hopes of catching a glimpse of the two kittens that were left behind after Babu left them on their own at about 5 to 6 months of age. It was now late Summer of 2005.

​Than one day, pure exhilaration as Moki carefully walked into the shed and, after a short hesitation, started eating right there in front of me! I slowly reached over, she dashed out by the sight of my hand coming near. A few seconds later her face peeked around the corner at me, I told her it was ok, and she walked back to the plate of food, accepted my touch and rewarded me with a loud purr. It was Fall 2005.

It was a cold, 29 degree on a late September evening in 2006 that I thought I heard a faint meow come from underneath the bathroom floor. I stood still for a while and listened but all was quiet, so I continued into the shower. When I came out I thought I heard another faint meow and decided to check in the basement to see what it was. Hungry, flea ridden and with an infected eye, I retrieved a tiny kitten from the crawlspace, I named him Lucky Luke. Less than 2 weeks later I retrieved another one from the crawlspace, this time underneath the kitchen, she was skin and bones!  Her name is Lucy Lu. That same day I went out to see if there were more kittens and found one screaming outside in the rain, I named him Einstein. Inside the shed I found 2 more huddled together, Emma Lou and Violet.

​SOUL was born, in my mind, around that time and in October of 2007 I founded Saving Outlawed and Unwanted Lives, a sanctuary specifically designed for feral cats.​​ The rest is history.