Jonah Angerame, a 10-year-old from Australia, started “Bookmark Buddy” after deciding he wanted to help as many cats as possible.
He’s making a big difference for cats who need homes, all while going to school. Also, he helps care for his cat, Leesha and a dog named Sapphire.
“It makes me happy — and a tiny bit tired,” he said.
In purrticular, he’s helping raise awareness about older cats, often overlooked in shelters.
A native of Phillip island, south of Melbourne, Jonah has raised over $1,000 for rescue groups across the continent. Impressively, he’s done it all in less than six months and through a lot of creativity!
According to Jonah’s mum Hannah Farnham:
“It all started when he wanted to rescue a whole bunch of cats and bring them home,” Hannah Farnham said. “But we already have [our cat] Leesha. “I said, ‘We can’t have that many cats, darling’.”
Although Jonah couldn’t bring home a bunch of cats, that didn’t mean he couldn’t help them. That’s when the idea was born for “Bookmark Buddy.” Farnham suggested that Jonah combine his love for reading and crafting and make bookmarks.
One day, he hopes his efforts will help him attain his dream:
“I just want to buy a house, fill it with cats and live happy for the rest of my life,” he says.
In September, Jonah began selling colorful bookmarks often featuring cats. Sometimes, the bookmarks help specific older cats find homes. Other times, the artwork features dogs and other subjects, such as space and UFOs. Plus, people can donate without buying a bookmark.
Today, Bookmark Buddy on Facebook has 3,300 likes and even more follows. And, he’s recently received international orders for the first time.
🐈 Helping Senior Cats 🐈⬛
We love that Jonah is focusing on helping senior shelter cats! For one series of bookmarks, he focused on a rescue that helps many older cats called One at a Time Pet Rescue.
“A lot of older cats become homeless, and people don’t want to adopt them because they are old and they would like to adopt a kitten instead,” states the Bookmark Buddy website. “Cats of all ages should have people who love them and good homes.”
🇦🇺 Flying the Flag for Older Cats 🇦🇺
According to the charity’s president, Jonah went right to the older cats when he visited.
“All the rescue people who have met Jonah are so impressed,” Ms. Dryden said.
“Most kids go towards the kittens, but he went straight to the adults [cats],” said One at a Time Pet Rescue president Melissa Dryden. “He’s flying the flag for the older cats.”
Often, cats age 5 and older sit in the shelter while the kittens come and go. Then, that leaves them with little room to help more cats.
“We don’t want them in this [emergency] environment — we want them in a home curled up on the lounge enjoying their owner’s company,” Dryden told ABC Radio Melbourne.
Recently, his bookmark collection sold out, and he will be donating the money to the charity. Wonderfully, two of the featured cats found forever homes, while one named Langy is still looking.
“Thank you for your visit today Jonah your work for the animals is amazing and the bookmarks are great! Follow this young man who is on a mission to help animals in care and to buy a house to rescue as many as he can when he is older,” the rescue posted.
Jonah and Bookmark Buddy also helped Grounded Paws Cat Cafe, an “amazing Cat Lounge” in Victoria.
“This place is what I imagine my heaven would look like,” he stated. “It’s the most wonderful Alice in Wonderland themed adventure with all the joy of adorable kitties around you, I wish I could live there forever.”
“This is like heaven… but with kitties.. so it’s like my heaven.”
Featured image: Instagram/book_mark_buddy