I took a couple of videos while I was at the shelter last and forgot about them until yesterday when I copied them from my phone to my computer.
There were a couple of friendly black cats at the shelter that day and this one wanted to play with a cat hanging out in a tunnel but the cat just wasn’t in the mood or he was a bit too nervous to come out with me in the room. If I remember right, that cat wasn’t exactly afraid of me but he was a little leary of me.
The black cat was pretty funny and he worked on getting the cat out of the tunnel for quite a while before I thought to start recording.
During my last volunteer shift at the shelter, one of the kittens fell asleep on my lap.
I had other cats to visit so I couldn’t stay there all day but I was also hesitant to move and wake him up. Since I had already been in that pod for quite some time before he fell asleep, I decided to let him sleep for five more minutes but then I had to move on.
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.
Okay, maybe Berry is not really a wonder cat but he is quite the love bug. Barry had one eye removed a week ago and the last time I looked he was still available for adoption. If you live in the Tampa Bay area you can’t go wrong with such a loving cat.
Berry is available for adoption at the SPCA in Largo, Florida. Check out their listings for cats here. If he is no longer on the list that means he was probably adopted.
A couple of months ago I wrote about the many cats I saw who tended to spend their time lying in litter boxes at the SPCA shelter where I volunteer (see here). I suggested, and people agreed, that this is a behavior caused by stress. Since then I have accumulated several more photos of cats in litter boxes. Many, if not all, of the cats shown here have been adopted so enjoy the photos but don’t worry about the kitties.
Being in a shelter is no fun for anybody but usually, the end justifies the means. I’ve noticed the turnover is relatively quick and a cat that spends three months in our shelter is pretty rare. Now that the shelter is by appointment only that might change but my hope is people won’t forget about these pets in need even though they have other things to worry about right now. What do you think?
As many of you know, I volunteer for the SPCA here in Largo, Florida. I work as a cat counselor every Thursday from 4-7. Usually there are three of us counselors but a week ago two of my fellow volunteers did not show up. When I went in this Thursday I was expecting the shelter to be closed to the public but I was pleasantly surprised that it was open and pets were being adopted, although they have adopted an appointment only policy that started Friday.
I was again alone this Thursday, and I hope the two ladies I work with are well, but it does make my work seem even more important now. During the three hours I was there I saw three cats go home with their new families. It is a good feeling.
My wife and I have been throwing around the idea of adopting a female cat. Unfortunately, we are only allowed one pet where we live and are already over our limit so it probably won’t happen but I still think about it while I am there. This last month there have been a string of female black cats that have been extremely friendly and affectionate. Three of these cats have been in isolation because they supposedly do not get along with other cats. We considered adopting one of them, Jezebel, which I wrote about here. When my wife came in to check her out she proved herself to be intolerant of others.
While I was there Thursday, I kept an eye out for the most friendly female cat at the shelter. This, of course, is impossible to determine on one visit because cats might act differently depending on how tired they are or for other reasons. However, I do think a six year old cat named Kiki would get my vote. Coincidentally, she is another female black cat and I noticed how friendly she was the previous week too.
I think the friendliest male cat at the shelter would be a one year old named Kitty, who is a very special cat with a not so special name. He is in isolation because he is on a special diet but I think that is temporary. When I opened his cage he was all over me. He would push his head into my chin and then put his paws on my shoulder and snuggle with me. As an outgoing and rather well built male, I think he would cause jealousy among our other two wannabe alpha males.
On the way out after my shift I noticed a beautiful cat that was just outside the door. He meowed at me and I couldn’t help but wonder if he was one of our cats that escaped. I took a photo of him and went back inside to ask someone.
It turns out his name is Chunks, or something like that, and he is a stray that they take care of. It seems strange that a stray cat would be a permanent resident outside a shelter but if he is feral and unadoptable, that is probably the best place to live. When I came back out I bent down and reached out my hand, hoping he would come to me, but no such luck. I think he his trusting but to a point.
How are things where you live? Do you know if shelters are still open?
I finally caught Floki on Friday and brought him to the groomer. You may recall my last effort ended in failure. This time I caught him by surprise, picked him up and almost lost him as he twisted and scratched trying to get loose. My wife helped me get him into the carrier and off I went with him to the groomer.
I bring him to a place called Heaven Grooming where he is handled very well by the groomer.
Normally Floki is well behaved at the groomer, which is very different than at home. It is impossible for my wife and I to trim his nails but a groomer has no problem. I think it is because he is nervous around strangers so he behaves. Unfortunately, the groomer is not as much of a stranger as she used to be so he did struggle a little this time but she handled him well. Hopefully, that trend won’t continue.
I saw these kittens at my local PetSmart on Thursday. It’s amazing how many need homes. The funny thing is, I was most attracted to the only cat that wasn’t a kitten. She is a Russian Blue with no age listed. Too bad I am already over my cat limit.
These kittens are at the PetSmart in Largo, Florida if anyone is interested.