In Muscat, Oman, Maryam al-Balushi shares her house with 480 cats, most of which were strays. She also has 12 dogs and reportedly spends almost $8,000 a month on food bills for all of them.
The 51-year-old retired civil servant says it all started in 2008 when her son brought home a small Persian cat as a pet, which al-Balushi wasn't at all thrilled about, especially since her son didn't really take care of it. But as time went by, Maryam started getting used to the cat, and eventually, they became inseparable. In 2011, She went through a severe depression, and she credits the cat with helping her through that difficult period. In the years that followed, she dedicated herself to helping stray cats and taking them into her home.
As for those large bills, most of those are covered by donations from her fans and supporters online. Maryam says, "My message to the community is to treat animals with compassion."