A heartbreaking photo of an old man loving on his pet cat after their home burned down has touched many people around the world.
Photos of the sweet pair have been shared all around the world, and were even featured on the American talk show, Ellen. She showed Ali with his cat and commented how he had saved his kitten treasure.
He is in tears as he walks with his cane, surveying the spot where his home stood just minutes before. He clutches the cat lovingly, for it is all he has left from his home, other than the clothes on his back. Her name is Sarikiz which means blond girl in English.
Ali Mese is an 83 year old man from Ordular Village, in the Mudurnu district of Turkey near the Black Sea. He accidentally sent his home up in flames while attempting to use gas to light his wood burning stove.
His neighbors were saddened to witness the horrific sight of one of their own losing all he had in this world.
His wife and son were also in the home, and were able to get out, unharmed, luckily.
The blaze destroyed all the elderly man owned. Every possession, sentimental items, and also his animals. He lost several hens and cats to the fire.
One cat survived, and the love Ali has for it can be seen in his face in this poignant picture. One hen of 14 was also spared from the house fire.
There are many photos showing Ali surveying the ruins of his home after it burned to the ground. He is holding onto the small kitten for dear life in each one. They are heart wrenching to look at.
Mr. Mese was getting ready to cook with his wood burning stove, and when he poured gas to get it going, the flames got out of control, caused an explosion, and engulfed his house in just minutes.
Firefighters arrived after neighbors called them for help after spotting the fire, but not much could be saved when they arrived. It happened so quickly. The home had collapsed, leaving a burning pile of wood and metal
Ali was treated for minor burns at a local hospital, and released the next day.
He and his cat were reunited shortly after, at the hospital. It was arranged for someone to bring the sweet blonde kitten to his loving owner there. Ali has always had great affection for cats, and there were several living in the home with him and his wife before the fire.
Although things might seem hopeless for the old man, he survived and the authorities in his province have assured him they will help him in any way possible.
Ibrihim Kalin, spokesman for the president of Turkey, heard the sad tale and was so touched that he tweeted his support promising that the Turkish government would make sure “Uncle Ali” and his kitty would be taken care of.
He said they must be kept warm, and contacted the governor of Bolu province. The governor said their needs would certainly be taken care of.
A team was sent from the Bolu government to ready a new home for the family and their beloved cat. Mudurnu Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundation started plans for a new home to be built right away.
#Repost @wildlives ・・・ Love is everything when his house burned to the ground he made sure to save his biggest treasure 💕 @pekmanibrahim thanks for sending Via: @__adoptme__ MERHAMET Mudurnu’da sobayı yakmaya çalışırken evi yanan Ali dede 😥 Her şeyi yansa da belki de en değerlisini kurtarıyor, kedisini… O miniğe gösterdiğin merhamet sana güzellikler getirsin Ali dede.. ❤️
Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, the Minister of Family and Social Policies was another official who stepped took the time and care to initiate a widespread help campaign for Ali, Sarikiz, and their family.
A GoFundMe Page has been started and was up to over $6,000 pretty quickly.
The officials from Red Crescent, and international division of the Red Cross presented Ali with gifts while he was in the hospital. Gifts for the cat! He was presented with a brand new carrier and a comfy bed for his feline friend.
What a wonderful thing for a community and country to come together in support of one of their own. Stories like this, of humans coming together for the good of someone else is what we need more of. This proves humanity still exists.
We hope that no more bad luck comes to this family and that they are settled in their new home as soon as possible. After this ordeal, they deserve to live the rest of their lives in peace with lots of love from many more cats in their new warm house.