Happy Tails #7 – Independence Day
This is the week of my Spring Break! I did not think I would look forward to volunteering since it is technically my “week off,” but I was. I missed all the cats, especially Cubs. I was excited to go see him and excited to see how he was doing. I was honestly a bit nervous because I hope he is not cranky again this week because of his cage.
I walked into C.A.R.E. and went straight for the main front room. “WHAT THE…WHERE IS MY CUBS?” I thought. I did not see him in the bottom right cage anymore. It was EMPTY. So many thoughts ran through my head at once. “Did he get adopted?” “Is he sick?” “Am I never going to see him again?” “Is he at the vet?” I walked over to the adoption bulletin and did not see his name up there. This means he is not adopted yet. I walked around and looked in the laundry room and there he was! He was relocated again to a new cage. No carrier in the cage this time. This means his cage is spacious. He is in the laundry room top left cage (you can look at my previous blog to see the picture of where his new cage is). I looked at his pretty green eyes and said “Hey sweetheart there you are.” He walked over and gave me the biggest stretch. I petted him for a few seconds and remembered I was here for all the cats, not just him.
My supervisor was not in yet, so I asked the other more experienced volunteers where I should start. They told me the morning feeding was just done and can check the back room. If they are done eating I could start. This is my first day working by myself. How exciting! Yet…how nerve-wracking… I walked over to the brothers first (Kenny and Edwin) who are in the same cage. I would put them in their play space below the cage before I would start cleaning. They are some playful boys. I had a second thought. Actually, I need some help. I got an experienced volunteer to help me move them into their play space. Two kittens at once are hard to handle. Especially when they are super playful and want to just go off and explore. I was not going to risk them escaping their cage because the back room has a high ceiling and have a lot of shelves where they can get into unreachable places.
Finally, I cleaned their cage in peace without any worries. We usually leave them in their play space until all the cleaning is done in the back room so they could get their play time and exercise for the day. Instead of cleaning the cage next to Kenny and Edwin, Maisha, I moved onto the kitty condos. Maisha was hissing when I looked at her and sitting on top of her carrier. I was a bit scared. She is notorious for being a feisty girl. I might need some help later with her… All the kittens just want to play. Cleaning the kitty condos required some multi-tasking. One hand on them, one hand maneuvering the towel, food/water dishes, etc., and BOTH eyes on them. After all, they are kittens and they are more energetic than anything else. They play bite and then stick their paws out at you for some lovin’. I cleaned Sarah, Panther, Cutie, and Pie’s kitty condos. It was very challenging, but I knew it was time I learn to acquire some independent skills. My supervisor asked if I preferred help or wanted to be alone and I told her I would try being alone today.
YES! Cleaned all the cages mostly by myself…but now time for Maisha. I walked over to her and her eyes are much softer this time. Is she trying to be nice or is she playing a game with me? I opened the cage door just slightly and she darted off the top of her carrier. She rubbed her body against the door as a nice sign, but I had a feeling. She’s trying to get me to lower my inhibition so that I would fall for her tricks. I closed the door and went to get another volunteer for help. Once I closed the door I heard a hiss behind me. The experienced volunteer came over to try to hold her back while I cleaned the cage but she started to swat. It was time for “the glove.” The volunteer got this huge thick glove to hold her back while we worked together to clean her cage. The glove would prevent injuries from her swatting with nails. After some time, we finally finished the whole back room.
Today, I felt great getting the opportunity to work by myself for the first time. I felt I had a lot more responsibility and felt I had more value. It is a lot harder to work alone, but manageable. I had to keep my eyes and mind focused to predict their moves and behavior, but I was able to do it. With any challenges such as Kenny and Edwin or Maisha, I was careful not to risk my safety or their safety by trying to be “brave” by doing the job on my own. I know when to get help and will when I need it. I feel like I am progressing a lot as a trainee. Progress definitely feels good and satisfying. I will continue working hard at the shelter and hopefully my help will soften up feisty cats like Maisha. I noticed after cleaning the cage she was much calmer, but I knew she had many tricks and games up her sleeve. I just need to continue growing and learning from these experiences I acquire each week to provide the best care and love for these cats.
On the other hand, I played with Cubs for a bit while I was waiting for the laundry to dry.
I gave him his favorite green mouse and look what happened…he hugs it like it is his baby. Awe.
Once I figure out how to upload videos…I’ll upload a cute one of him 🙂
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