I have found in my lifetime that heroes are rare, they show up in the world of sports, or in a news story that I have read about. However, just recently I came across MY hero right here in Mandan. I moved to Bismarck in mid-February, after landing a job with Townsquare Media. While getting my feet wet here at our radio station, Cool 98.7's Scott McGowan gave me some inside info about some cats that have circulated about 100 yards behind our radio station. He had mentioned that from what he gathered, someone was taking care of the felines from time-to-time. Well, I took it upon myself about a week or so when I spotted a vehicle parked by the run-down trailer. Her name is Debra, she has a heart larger than life. For the past seven years, every day ( with the exception of just a couple of times due to extra harsh weather ) she drops by to feed the strays, to bring hay to lay out under the wheel wells. She takes the time to make some homemade rice with milk added with it, her mom saves table scraps, then Debra delivers "The Cats Meow" with a big smile. I have no clue how many cats live there, I did see a Calico one that had babies not long ago.

This has all been done with her money, and it's not cheap. She says she goes through at least 35 pounds of food a week. The land that the cats make their home at ( the beat-up trailer ) sits on the property of a private business. Debra has had no issues with the business for her stopping by every day. When I asked her why, why do you spend your own money, your own free time to be there, 365 days a year - through the heat of summer, to the brutal bitter cold, she simply replied: "Because I feel so bad".

I know exactly how she feels, you see she cares so much for doing such a decent thing, that there are some people who can't comprehend that, and they choose to spew out negative comments to her, Which I don't understand at all. Debra has tried to mention to me the really sad times in her experiences outback of our station, but I try to quickly change the subject, I could never deal with the sadness of seeing an animal you have loved and tried taking care of, lay still in their lonely compound. Debra is my hero, for giving a huge piece of her soul to all the cats that come around every single day to receive homemade rice and sincere love.