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Goal reached in effort to save cats left abandoned by homicide

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Readers have responded generously to a volunteer effort to save and find homes for a colony of stray cats in Chinatown.

Jonathan Hammell, 42, a resident of Eccles Street, had been one of the main caregivers for the animals until he was killed in a fight at his rooming house on Nov. 11. Another tenant has been charged in the homicide.

A group of neighbours and animal lovers stepped forward to first help feed the dozen or so cats, then begin finding permanent homes for them.

A GoFundMe campaign was attempting to raise $6,000 for food, supplies and veterinary care and, by Friday afternoon, it had surpassed $5,900 from about 120 donors.

One of the organizers, Marna Nightingale — a neighbour and acquaintance of Hammell’s — said the group was thrilled with the response.

“Oh gosh, I wish I could name a cat after every single one of them,” she said Friday. “It’s amazing, absolutely mind-blowing and we are so, so grateful.”

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