Friday, March 19, 2010

You Can Only Do it for the Love
I can't believe we had our first meeting for the next season's kitten nursery last night. It seems like we only just closed down from last year.

We're aiming for an early May opening and will go through September; even October if there are still kittens in need.

Last night was for us old hands, so there wasn't anything in the way of training. Just a few new policies to go over and a chance to pick out our preferred shifts. Three shifts a day breakfast 8-10, lunch 1-3. and dinner 5-7. Seven days a week. Last summer I did two regular shifts and picked up a third along the way, plus doing my cat shifts on the days when I wasn't at the nursery. This year I hope to work with some of my favorite people from last year -- at least we all requested the same shift, so I'm hoping it'll be the fun crew again.

And then I went back today for a regular cat session. Someone today asks me why I do it? Why give us so much of my days and work so had for absolutely no money. I had to, in all honesty, respond that this is the best paying job I've ever had. When I left Apple I was making over $1k a year to do nothing all that important. And yeah, I could buy socks before they all developed holes and had dreams one day of a new car (mine is 10 years old with 185,000 miles on it). And yes, my all time big dream of all dreams, owning my own house.

But what I'm doing now is more important that that. I can find a good used car. I can rent. I can shop at K Mart rather than Macy's (although I'll still insist Husband shops at Macy's). But I can't give up the fact that i am doing something good. I made a conscitious decision to turn in the 6-figure salary in favor of the buy your own catnip and band-aids brigade. And I don't regret a minute of it. There may be times when I feel guilty when Husband has to get up early or work late to make a deadline and I feel like I'm not pulling the weight in our relationship. But then he smiles at me and tells me how proud he is that I'm taking care of critters and all's right with the world again. (I am the luclkiest woman on the planet!)

Sure I'd love a car I can count on. And yes, more than anything, I was to own a house where I can paint the walls whatever color I chose and where I can't be asked to move on 30 days notice. But more than that, I want to take care of the animals. I want to be there when they learn they can trust people, when they find that one and true person who wants to take them home. I want to get the shy cat to curl into my lap and I want the agressitve cat to play with me without claws out and with no trauma getting hin back into the cage.

I honestly believe that working with animals is what I was born to do. Now if I could only find someone to help me pay my rent and I'll be a full-butt-wiggle happy camper.

1 comment:

Duke said...

Good on you for taking care of the kitties. Of all the pets I feel the most sorry for them when they are homeless. Unlike dogs, cats don't form packs and need people for social interaction. Seeing a poor kitty sitting alone in a cage is very sad.

PBS had a special on cats. They said cats are the only known animal that tamed itself. Cats were the ones who approached humans for contact. We never gathered them up like horses or dogs, to be tamed for a reason. Cats first came to us because we stored grain. Our grain brought mice. Cats could have stayed on the sidelines hunting mice but they approached us for companionship. They wanted our affection and offered theirs in return with no strings attached. Cats did not need us to bring them food. We didn't bribe them with goodies to be our pets. They did it themselves because they desired our friendship.

And so it is to this day. Cats don't want a lord and master. They have no concept of a pack leader. All they want is to be your friend. When a cat returns home from a day outside it is only doing it for one reason. It wants your company, affection, and attention.