My name is Tova Saul. I moved to Israel from the United States in 1981. I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland in Baltimore, but in Israel I decided to shift gears and become a licensed tour guide. I could think of no better way to see, experience and share my love for this beautiful country. It is a great way to help people to connect to Israel, nature, and the outdoors.
When I first arrived here I was saddened to learn that much of the Mediterranean Basin is populated by millions of homeless cats. Most of the kittens die from disease, lack of food, flea infestations and injury. The ones who make it to adulthood struggle to survive.
I was determined to make a difference in their lives. In Jerusalem’s Old City, where I live, I trap, neuter and return street cats to their home territory, and continue to feed and monitor their progress. I also help cats that I find while I’m touring the country for work. For that reason I always travel with cat food!
I am fortunate to have the assistance of Svetlana, who lives in Tel Aviv. She fosters some of the cats and helps me place many of my rescues into good homes. We are not a registered charity and so fund most of the food and vet bills on our own. Spay Israel, a non-profit that spays thousands of homeless cats per year provides low cost spay/neuter ($25 per cat).
I created the holylandcats blog to bring attention to the plight of Israeli cats, and hopefully to encourage you to help save them. I also hope to inspire you to visit Israel through pictures – many of them taken by fantastic photographers — highlighting the beautiful cities, biblical and historical sites, archeological ruins and stunning natural settings where you will find our Holy Land Cats.