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Volunteering at an animal shelter

Thursday, October 18, 2018

For the past 16 and 17 years, I had two pets: two female cats. They were litter mates, and I first got them after their litter had been abandoned behind a firehouse. The woman who worked at the firehouse took them home with her and advertised them in the paper as free to a good home. They had to be bottle fed and carefully nurtured during their first few weeks at home with me. Those two kitties were very precious to me, and they brought me a great deal of joy through the years.

In the last two years, they both died, after having lived long and happy lives.

Now, I am without any cats, and I miss having a cat around my house. However, because right now I travel so much, I do not feel it would right to get another cat. It would not be fair to the cat for me to be gone for months at a time.

(I did leave my two cats, because I got them before the travel started. I hired someone to come to the house every day to feed them and check on them. However, I felt very guilty about it, and I would not get a cat now, knowing that I would have to leave it for so long.)

So, I have applied as a volunteer at the local animal shelter to help socialize cats. Once a week, for a couple of hours, I will get to spend time with kittens and cats who need to get used to being with humans.

I know I will want to take them home with me -- but I am going to try it out anyway.
There actually is a program of fostering kittens - in which I would get to take them home temporarily. Maybe I will give that a try too. I have a friend who does that with puppies.

I like dogs, too. But they require a whole lot more care and work than a cat does. And certainly, with a dog, there is no leaving it at all. With a cat, it is so easy to be away for a weekend, with no problem. Just leave extra food and plenty of fresh, filtered, running water, in a special water dish, and the cat will be fine. A dog would require much more. The dog would have to be boarded, or visited a couple of times each day to be walked and fed.

So I find that the dogs that I most enjoy these days are other people's dogs. I have no desire to take on the responsibility of a dog right now. Maybe later on, when I am home a whole lot more.

In the meantime, though, I am looking forward to spending a couple of hours a week with some cats.


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