Since I am taking a break from volunteering due to our pending move, I thought I would share some memories from the shelter. Here are three kittens. I do not know if they are siblings. They probably are but sometimes more than one litter is put in the same pod.
These photos were taken six weeks ago so I am sure they have homes by now. If you want to see cute cats and kittens like these on a regular basis, I would recommend volunteering at a shelter. Sometimes all they need is someone to pay attention to the animals there. Bring a coffee with you and it would be like going to a cat café for free.
I have been very busy lately and have not photographed our cats too much so I thought I would go to the archives again. This was taken exactly ten years ago on October 2, 2010. I was volunteering for a shelter called Sav-R-Cats and was there photographing cats for Petfinder. While I was doing that, the shelter manager opened the refrigerator and this fellow climbed inside.
When I started my shift last Friday at the SPCA, I noticed there were over 25 kittens there. That was the most that I have seen at one time. I took several photos but the kittens were very busy so it was hard to get a good shot. Fortunatly, these two were resting at the right time.
Everybody loves kittens so I am sure they have been adopted by now. It is the older cats that I worry about. Some have been there for too long and need a home.
The SPCA announced recently that they were allowing the volunteers to come back. I took that opportunity to trade my 4-7 shift on Thursdays for a 1-4 shift on Fridays. This means that I will be volunteering at the same time I am on call at the Red Cross but I have gone on two calls in six months so I thoght it would be no problem.
When I walked into the cat room I noticed that all of the pods were empty, at least all that I could see.
I thought maybe they moved the cats and didn’t tell me but as I continued I saw a pod with four cats in it. I was pleasantly surprised to find seven of the eight cat pods empty. The next room has the smaller cages where cats are kept in isolation, either because they are recovering from surgery, they have a special diet, or the don’t play well with others.
There were four cats in that room, including a very friendly black cat named Sassy who had a skin condition from a flea allergy. I took her photo but it is too blurry to post.
There were also six kittens in the room in three separate cages, probably separated by litter. There were two black kittens that I failed to get pictures of. There was also a single gold and white kitten who was curious but shy.
Then there was three kittens together in one cage, a ginger boy and two females including one tabby and one tortie.
The ginger kitten was the most outgoing of the three and would come down from the shelf for attention.
The four cats inside the pod were pretty shy except for a white and gold cat named Max.
When Max wasn’t busy catching some rays he was busy looking for attention
While I was there, a man and his two boys came in shortly before a woman. All of them decided they wanted to adopt the ginger kitten but the woman recognized that the man was first and let him take the kitten. Perhaps if he didn’t have two young boys who wanted the kitten, he might have let her have him. Unfortunately, the woman left without a cat.
Another woman, who had been in earlier, decided to adopt an eight year old male Siamese cat named Sage. He was hiding under their homemade cat tree so I had to pull him out and put him in a carrier. I’m sure he wasn’t happy about it then but today he is living the good life.
While I was there I spoke with someone about doing animal transports. It is an on call position that I know almost nothing about yet but she did ask if I would be comfortable handling wildlife and mentioned birds of prey and a few others that I don’t remember. My guess is these are animals that are injured and need medical attention but I don’t know. I have an appointment to meet with her at 7:00 am this morning where I will learn more about the job. I think it will be interesting.
Shortly after moving to South Carolina in 2009, I started volunteering at a shelter called Sav-R-Cats. It is the shelter where we adopted Chris from but before that, I took photos of cats for their Petfinder page. At the time the shelter had several community rooms and a few large cages. When the volunteers came in, those rooms were mostly emptied and all the cats were allowed to socialize in the main part of the shelter. Some cats stayed outside of the cages, even at night. Two of those cats were best friends Yoda and Jerry, who arrived at the shelter in 2006.
I saw on their Facebook page that Jerry passed away a couple of weeks ago having never been adopted. I believe Yoda is still alive and still at the shelter but I don’t know for sure. I asked about Yoda but have not yet got a response.
I’m not sure why those two were never adopted. Some cats are just not adoptable and end up living out there lives at a no-kill shelter. I don’t know if that was the case with these two. It is possible they could not be separated and needed to go together which can make adoption more difficult. Perhaps, after a while, they just became resident cats, which really isn’t such a bad life considering they had the run of the shelter.
If Yoda is still alive, I am concerned what he will do without Jerry. Perhaps it is time for a loving home.
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?
Since starting as a volunteer at the SPCA a few months ago, I have noticed a surprisingly high number of cats who spend there time lying in litter boxes. I don’t know why. The pods at the SPCA are about 100 square feet with plenty of vertical sleeping areas. Perhaps it is a reaction to stress. Considering there are between four and eight cats in each pod and the pods are constantly changing as cats come and go, I can understand why it would be stressful, especially for the more timid cats.