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Some of the applicants were refugees who reportedly wanted to send money back to their families, while others were women seeking to escape domestic violence—and of course, there were thousands of enthusiastic cat lovers who wanted to lend a paw.

Even though the the tidal wave of media attention required weeks of sorting through messages and emails, Richard and Joan say that the flood of responses has helped to restore their faith in people.

“This is bigger than just a job on a Greek island,” Richard told The Washington Post. “There’s a kind of wish for people to return to some level of humanity at a time when things are degenerating into such inhumanity.”

They eventually settled on a candidate for the position: a woman from Santa Barbara, California named Jeffyne Telson. The 62-year-old woman has helped to find homes for 3,000 cats over the last 20 years thanks to her own animal rescue work as founder and president of ResQcats.

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When the Bowells met Telson, Joan felt like she’d known Jeffyne for years. They described it as “a match made in heaven.”

Jeffyne (left) and Joan (right) – Facebook, God’s Little Creatures

On top of that, the Bowells are working with filmmakers who want to make a documentary about the sanctuary’s story.

Though Joan has had to post several Facebook updates about how the managerial position is now filled, the media attention has set bigger plans in motion for the sanctuary that may require more employees and volunteers in the future. If interested, keep an eye on the God’s Little People sanctuary page for updates.

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In the meantime, Joan has used the influx of Facebook followers to try and raise donations to cover the many costs of caring for the critters—including publicizing her enchanting Etsy art creations, all inspired by the cats.

“I’ve given 8 years of my life to the cats each day with no pay, and I’m hoping for your support… to help us set up funds for food, medical expenses… (and) petrol for the endless runs to the vet each week!,” writes Joan.

Cat creations by Joan in God’s Little Creatures Etsy shop

Consider sponsoring a cat, but also check out her Etsy page and purchase her cat designs, with all proceeds going to fund the furry retirement retreat.

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