Katrina + 10

Emma Anita Seals, 81, Pass Christian

Every morning, Emma Anita Seals put a pot of rice and chicken in the woodsy area across from her Pass Christian home, and every night she'd pick up the empty pot.

Grateful raccoons, possums, neighborhood pets --- and her own --- regularly dined on Seals' generosity. "My animals," she affectionately called them.

"Oma even had wild bunnies. All the animals flocked to her," said Natalie Krymski, who grew up next door to the 81-year-old and calls her by the German name for grandma.

"She turned her garage into a makeshift shelter with everything they would need. People called her the crazy cat lady, but they didn't know her heart."

The animals were Seals' reason for not evacuating her home. Known for a salty tongue and highly opinionated mind, the Air Force widow kept a tidy home and was generous in donations for animals and the military.

"She was a proud German woman, and it was hard for her to trust people --- she remembered the Nazis taking Jewish friends. But she took care of the people who took care of her."

The animals' fate is unknown.

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