I retired two years ago from nursing.  I had so many people ask what I was going to do when I was no longer working.  Many were surprised that I actually had a four part “bucket list”.  One of the four was to work with animals.  I attended a volunteer orientation class and was hooked.  I chose to work with the cats as I am a dog person. That sounds strange I know but the temptation to bring the dogs home with me would be so strong but not so much the cats.  I never had cats as pets till my children started to bring home strays.  No one in my family has ever had a feline pet. They never even had a nice word to say about the breed.

This has been a real learning experience for me.  I think I am getting better.  I base this on the fact my first few weeks I had multiple bites and scratches from our feline clients but none for the past year.  I have even had a few favorites.  One was a grey and white named Sherman.  He was so quiet and looked like a dapper southern gentleman.  Then there was Sunny a very old yellow and white long hair with the most beautiful green eyes.

It is fun to try and name the cats that need them. One blinked at me all the time so I went with the children poem of the wooden shoe crew and called it Blinken.  We had an old tom cat who seemed to be squinting at us all the time like an old northeastern fisherman.  So you guessed it he got called Sailor.  There was Peridot the young cat with pale yellow-green eyes exactly the color of that stone, Gandalf the grey cat and recently from the movie Cats Mestopholeces, who like his name sake was a wise big bedraggled looking cat. There was the one who reminded me of a Sofia Loren movie role and got the name Countess.  And then there was a little grey fluffy kitten who hid behind its litter box just peeking over the edge.  It was dubbed Mouse.

I now think of myself less as a dog person than as an animal person.  The cats have softly padded their way into my heart.

Submitted by:

Carolyn Dunstone
RASKC Volunteer

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Best of Cats, Volunteers