A Day at the Shelter

I have not been volunteering much lately at the SPCA because of my job. I work part-time but I rarely know in advance when I will be off. Usually, I come in in the morning and work until everything is done. Sometimes that is all day and sometimes not. When I do work all day I often have to call the next morning to see if and when I should come in. The shelter likes people to sign up a day in advance but I can’t do that so the few opportunities I have to work I sign up a few hours before the shift starts.

Before Covid I had a regular shift every Friday from 1-4 as an adoption counselor. Back then I had a different job and was able to do that. Now I just go in when I can. Last week I happened to have Tuesday off, which is a day the shelter is closed. I decided to go in as what they call a “Cat Cuddler.” It is what I did when I first started volunteering. The idea is to just pay attention to the cats. Many cats need to have human interaction. I think because they like it, number one, and number two, they become less afraid of humans and more easily adopted. The last one applies to some cats but not all. Some are just naturally social or they come to the shelter already socialized.

When I arrived I went first to the isolated cats, which are cats that just had surgery or cats that need to be seperated for some other reason.

The first cat I saw looked like a Persian, which I have never seen at the shelter before. I opened her cage to get a better photo but she kept trying to escape and wouldn’t stand still.

The shelter was less than half full but there was still plenty of cats for adoption. Many were mellow adults.

There were a couple of black cats that were very friendly. I took many photos of them being friendly but none were good enough to show.

Then there were the youngsters.

This one had a littermate but it was difficult to get a good photo of both of them.

See what I mean.

Both of those kittens were shy, as was this one.

Lying in their litter box is a sign of stress and another reason that human contact is so important.

A couple of the young ones were not shy at all.

Then there were the in-between cats. The cats that were not shy but also not eager to come out for attention.

It was nice to get back to the shelter and I am looking forward to my next opportunity to go back.


22 thoughts on “A Day at the Shelter

  1. onespoiledcat

    What a wonderful thing to do – just give them a little attention and love and keep them used to being good companions…..I hope next time you visit them you find that group has found their forever homes and there’s new faces ready for a cuddle!

    Hugs, Pam

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      When I volunteered at Sav-r-cats, they literally had “lifers” there. In fact, a pair of best friends that were there in 2009 both died at the shelter last year, I think. It is different here. I rarely see a cat that has been there much over 30 days. As a side not, many cats and particularly the long term cats are not kept in cages at Sav-r-cats so their life isn’t that bad.

      1. onespoiledcat

        I’m happy to hear that – at least they have a little freedom and exercise….and that can keep them going whereas being alone in a cage for year after year shortens their lives I’m quite sute.

        1. Charles Huss Post author

          When I was in Myrtle beach I volunteered at the Humane Society but quit after a month because I did not think they were very humane. They had over 200 cats in small cages and my job was to socialize with them. I was alowed to take out one cat at a time and play with them. The cats were never allowed to mingle and I felt like i was spitting in the ocean. I went to Sav-R-Cats after that and was happy that they would let most of the cats out of their cages during the day. Some even stayed out permanently. Here is what it looked like. https://badcatchris.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/20090918_save-r-cats_3779.jpg

  2. easyweimaraner

    so great that you help the shelters… and I wish a wonderful home for all…. btw: yes, we had the same thought about the white kitty… maybe the shelter peeps know her story…

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      They have adoption history and a vet crew that have records that are not printed on the cat’s paperwork. I often had to find an employee there to look something up for a potential adopter.

  3. franhunne4u

    I went to slowly get my first indoor cats used to me. There were two more cats in that shed and during my two or three dates going there they already became more friendly! So each good visit by a snuggler is a great event for them, and while I could not take all of them they had a better chance of being adopted because of my visits. They were 10 months old then (that was March 2006) and at that age they are pretty easily impressed. They never became lapcats. But my two were friendly and liked to be petted and joined me on my bed.

  4. The Island Cats

    What sweet kitties! The mom took a break from volunteering at our local shelter. With covid and the fact that they wanted her to come in really early in the morning, she thought it was time to re-evaluate her volunteering options.


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