Sunday, September 16, 2012

Humane Society

Some time ago, the company I work for, which is very into charity, including allowing us to donate up to 16 hours of our time a year and be paid for it (it works like vacation time but doesn't come out of our bank of vacation time), organized an event at the local Humane Society.  We had to attend a bit of training first, then were turned loose to walk dogs and pet cats.  I learned that they allow children to volunteer as long as they're with a parent, and knew that it would be right up Nathan's alley (he's SUCH an animal lover), so I later attended the training along with him, and we've been volunteering there when we can ever since.

They've also asked if I can take photos of cats, focusing on the cats with crappy intake photos only, to be used on the website.  Now that we have a purpose for being there (petting cats DOES have a purpose, for sure, but it feels more like fun than work), we've actually been going just about every weekend.

Yes, there are the occasional cats that are tempting to bring home.  Sweet cuddly cats that love to be held and petted are especially attractive to both of us, but especially Nathan because he loves giving our cats attention, but they mostly rebuff him.  They are both older than he is, and apparently still think of him as an annoying toddler, even though he gives them wonderful care and is careful with petting them now.  But I always think of how difficult the relationship is between the two I have now, and how stressed they would both be if I brought a new cat home.  It wouldn't be fair to them.  So I've committed myself to not bring any more cats home until at least one of these two is gone, and even then, it will depend on which cat is remaining and how she's doing at that time.

Yesterday, though, was the first time a cat really seemed to choose ME.  I went into the area where they keep multiple kittens in a room that also has access to an enclosed outdoor area, as we do every visit.  I picked up a kitten, took a few photos, snuggled with him, took a few more photos, and started to move along to the other kittens in the room.  However, Harris kept coming back to me, meowing for me to pick him up.  Nathan picked him up, but he wiggled until he put him down.  I picked him up, and while he wiggled out of my hands, he found his way to my lap and settled in for a bit of a nap.  SUCH a sweetheart.  It was harder yesterday to stick to my committment to my two kitties, but I did.  I hope Harris finds a wonderful family to love him.

Here are some photos of Harris:

And some of the many other kitties (and bunnies) we've loved on in the past few weeks.  If you're looking for a pet, please consider your local shelter, whether it's run by the humane society or other organization.


  1. Harris sounds like Agatha was when Dear Daughter got her. DD picked up the kitten (about 12 weeks old, maybe?), looked at her face, said, "Mom, this is the one I want" and that was that. I told her we had to make sure Kitten got along with Dad, too, so we had to wait until the next day to actually do the adoption, but yeah...Kitten chose DD.

  2. Great photos!

    My mom and takes her granddaughter (my youngest niece) to the shelter each week for cat-petting. They had 3 training sessions before they were allowed to play with kitties any time they want--all this leading up to being able to walk dogs (when Cassie gets bigger) and (her ultimate prize destination): play with all the rabbits. I'm not sure why dogs are before bunnies.

    Yay for you!

    1. Ours only has the one training session for all animals, though they've recently instituted a different system for dogs (dogs and handlers are both color-coded, and you can only handle dogs your color or easier), and we had to attend a training session when they instituted it. But I can see why rabbits come later in the progression--they're REALLY skittish and don't love being handled, so they're not the best critters for kids to be messing with. When we hold bunnies, I get them out (well, I do with any animal, as required by policies) and carry them to the room we're going to pet them in, then Nathan and I trade off holding on our lap so the other one of us can pet them a bit. But they sure don't seem to love the attention the way the cats and dogs do.