Tag Archives: Tampa Bay

My First Day Back at the Shelter


I mostly stopped volunteering when I got my lastest job early in the year. It was supposed to be part-time, about twenty hours a week, but the other part-time employee quit and it quickly turned into about thirty-five hours a week. I did manage to squeeze in a day here and there but then we went to West Virginia for two months.

Things have slowed down at work lately and it seems I might be able to consistently get Fridays off so I signed up for a shift last Friday. When I got there I noticed things had not changed much. Cats still needed homes and people still came around looking for cats

There were a fair number of kittens as well as adults cats. It seemed there were a lot of very friendly black cats that day.

There was also a Siamese kitten there.

I texted Rose his photo and she wanted me to adopt him but several minutes later someone came in with his paperwork wanting to adopt him. When a person wants to adopt a cat they take the cat’s paperwork to the adoption office. I imagine these people grabbed his paperwork so nobody else would take him and then wondered around the shelter in case they found a better option.

The Siamese was part of a group of kittens that were very cute and funny. I learned later they were all from the same litter even though only one was Siamese. I know a litter could be from more than one father so maybe that was the case.

While I was standing outside the cage talking to someone, one of the kittens climbed up the door and poked me in the back to get my attention.

Later I saw the same black kitten climb up the door but this time he had a copycat.

The Siamese cat climbed all the way to the top of the door.

I was worried he might hurt himself jumping down from that hight but I had to wait for him to get above the door so I could open it. Once inside I pulled the bench over to stand on and then had a hard time separating the cat from the cage.

The friendliest cat in the shelter and the one I most wanted to bring home was Berry.

Berry had a bad eye infection that the vets could not get under control so they had to remove his eye on Monday. I felt so bad because he was so very much in need of attention. I opened his cage a few times to pet him and he was just all over me. I have a video that I will try to post soon.

Alas, as much as we want to save them all it is just not realistic to think we can adopt another cat, especially since we already have two more than we are suppose to have.

Our Empty Cat Shelter


I returned to volunteering at the SPCA three Fridays ago and was pleased that the number of cats had not increased since before I went to West Virginia. Indeed, it may have even decreased.

When I first started volunteering, about a year and a half ago, the shelter was close to full. There are eight pods designed for eight cats each and all the pods usually had between five and eight cats. In addition there are two more rooms that often house either a group of kittens or special needs cats, such as FIV positive cats. Then there is a room that contains about eight to ten individual cages. They call that room “Shoreline” for a reason I am unfamiliar with. There is also another room with about eight more similar cages. These usually house cats that are fresh out of surgery, cats that are on a special diet, or cats that don’t play well with others. I would estimate that there was a consistent number of between 50 and 75 cats at all times.

Then COVID hit and I feared that the number would go up because of restrictions on visitors and people’s general fear of going out. I was wrong. People stepped up and adopted like never before. By the time we left for West Virginia in November there were probably around twenty cats up for adoption.

When I returned there were cats in two of the eight pods and a few in the Shoreline cages. I was mostly happy that the shelter was low on cats but part of me was perhaps a little sefishly glad there were still a few there because I missed being able to interact with these cats.

The following week most of the cats were gone but were replaced by new cats.

I think the only holdover was this orange and white cat.

Yesterday there was a total of five cats when I came it for my shift. I did not get a photo of the tortie but here are the other four. The first two were adopted together while I was there.

While the woman was getting her adoption paperwork finalized someone from medical brought back two more cats that were now ready for adoption. One of them was six-year-old male ginger with the best name ever, “Lasagna.”

The other was a three-year-old female Bengal cat named “Phoenix.”

I was given the heads up about Phoenix and Lasagna before she brought them back so, knowing my wife wanted a Bengal cat, I texted her that a girl Bengal cat was coming. I told her if she wanted her she needed to come to see her right away and bring a carrier. She was excited at first and then was worried that four cats would be too difficult to bring to our other home. She also worried that she might disrupt the harmony in our house.

Indeed, she did some growling and hissing when she first arrived and when I opened the cage to see if I could calm her down she bolted and escaped. It took some effort to catch up to her and bring her back and she did not go back willingly.

Before I left, someone from medical came and brought back Lasagna. I’m not sure why but apparently he was not supposed to come out for adoption yet. When I left there were only four cats up for adoption, the lowest number I have seen since starting there.

This morning my wife changed her mind and decided she wanted to go see the Bengal cat. She asked me if I thought she would still be there and I said, “I doubt it but I will check.” I looked on the SPCA website and saw there were only two cats left and neither one was Pheonix. I checked again now, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and there are now zero cats up for adoption. This really is good news but now I wonder if I will be needed next week.

Photo Friday: Shelter Kittens


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.

Memories of Shelter Cats


It has been over two months since the local SPCA told all of us volunteers to stay home. They are still taking care of and adopting pets but they are doing it with just their paid staff. That means the cats and dogs are still finding homes but they have fewer people around to pay attention to them while they are there.

While I was volunteering, I took photos of some of the cats almost every time I was there and I thought this would be a good time to share some of the ones from this year. The last time I was there was March 19th, over two months ago, so I’m sure all of these kitties have found homes by now. At least I hope so. I also have forgotten all of their names except Grampa Hulu who was unusual because he was a male tortie.


Grandpa Hulu


Hopefully they will be letting us volunteers come back pretty soon.

More Cats in Litter Boxes


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?