alley cats, pound puppies
this weekend i went to the broward county animal care & regulation department to volunteer for the first time. there's a place nearby named the wildlife care center
that has more exotic animals i could tend to, but i recently fell for a pretty grey cat for adoption at pet supermarket and decided, since i really shouldn't get any more
cats (one is enough when you're deathly allergic, i figure), i should do something to help.
after an early friday night, i woke up in the 8's on saturday to get to the shelter by 10. me being me, however, i got lost and didn't get there until 10:30. the coordinator said she was overrun with volunteers that day (one walking the dogs, one helping the public, one older one who hugged and kissed all the animals, and one playing on a computer is apparently what "overrun" means) and sent me on my way to do laundry. yes, laundry. "oh great," i thought. "i get to do busywork." but, as we all know, laundry isn't a full-time job, so after i put a load in, i took to wandering the shelter.
this is the sweet grey kitty that needs a home.
if interested, check out the pet supermarket at atlantic & federal.
dogs are entirely too depressing in a settling like that. first of all, they're barking madly. a shelter soundtrack is constant barking, which you can tune out unless you're walking right by the dog pens, in which case the big, scary dogs make you jump. second, the ones that aren't
barking are sitting quietly, either facing a wall and looking depressed or looking at you, looking hopeful. usually the ones that are facing the walls will look back at you, hopefully, as you pass or you stop to say hi. that's the saddest.
you can't really reach the dogs in their pens anyway, so i didn't spend much time with the dogs. on top of that, i'm pretty allergic to them.
i did, however, spend three hours in the two cat rooms. one area is for adoptable cats and the other is for strays, which have to be held for five days before they are put up for adoption. the back area of the strays room seems to be reserved for cats that would eat a person if they got the chance. they all looked pretty much like this:
so, between checking on my washing/drying loads of towels, i cleaned out cat cages. probably more than they needed it (you know, if it poops once in its little litter box, it's probably not necessary to change it.. but after all, they are
cats and much cleaner than your average person). i replaced tipped water dishes. changed newspaper. replaced spilled food. and when all that was done, i could indulge the cats and myself by petting them. as a former non-cat-person, i'd guess that the way these cats were behaving would shock a lot of people. i had a whole wall of cats rubbing against the sides of their cages, just dying to get some loving by that blonde thing with THE HANDS. and, reasoning that they would need to be socialized to humans, i held the little wild kittens quite a bit. now that
shit was ridiculous.
picture something this small and this cute, hissing at you with all its might if you approached its cage:
it's hard to not just take them home. much easier when you remember, however, that they're kittens and their furry little paws and big eyes will be snatched up just as soon as they go up for adoption. it's the older cats that need homes. sad, sad. there were some real sweethearts, too, including a couple of cats that spent their day nestled in their metal litter "box" (bowl) but would perk up if you opened the cage door. another tomcat, found on the street, was just about the worst-condition animal i've seen in my life.. both its ears had been attached and were a mix of scabs and open sores. poor thing was just horrible looking, but not that he realized it.. he rubbed that scabby head all over my hand, loving on me and loving the attention. i can sleep after meeting that little guy because someone told me one of the shelter workers is going to take him home and get him back to being healthy.
i want to go back soon, if only to not lose the tiny bit of progress i made with the little fluffies. see, the one still hisses when i go over to the cage, but she'll stop when i'm petting her. another kitten went from pissed off to indifferent when i was around, although his little sister still steps all over him when i walk by, hissing and staring at me with her cute little wide kitten eyes.
if anyone needs assistance in finding a new pet, come to me. i'm told i'm good at picking out animals, since that one i found in a bush doesn't count. and anyone, as long they don't have any pet lizards they would mind finding sans tail on the kitchen floor, can have a cat. that whole cats-are-snobs things becomes much less annoying the first time you have one in your lap, purring and pawing at the air like a kitten. or the first time you wake up with one curled up beside you and realize, "ohmygosh, it does like me. or at least it likes that i'm warm!" hey, good enough.
so yeah, if anyone (ahem, B.) needs help picking out a cat, i'm your girl. don't be too surprised if you get one with less than the optimal amount of limbs, however.