Lucy’s dedication to cats, helping other volunteers, and assisting the adoption events coordinator is nothing short of phenomenal. Lucy is a “star” of the our adoption center in Kirkland, having trained almost 150 volunteers and drafted invaluable training materials for the Kirkland program. Her diligence for quality assurance is utterly fantastic. Read our Q&A with her below:
Q: How did you hear about RASKC?
A: Previous animal shelters where I volunteered always had so many volunteers that I didn’t feel I made much of a difference. I mostly sat around. When I learned that a new adoption center for RASKC was being built in Kirkland I read about the organization on the website and decided to volunteer, hoping I could be of some help as the center became established. I loved my work there and have been there ever since.
Q: What made you want to volunteer, especially to work with animals?
A: Like all of us, I love animals, both those in my own life, and those I’ve only seen on TV and the internet. When I see how some people treat their animals it makes me terribly angry and sad, but confronting the owners is not wise or helpful. I want to do something to protect animals’ well-being and the most immediate and efficient way is to volunteer at organizations like RASKC.
Q: What’s the best thing about your cats?
A: All my cats have been special in their own ways, each with their own unique personalities. I’ve learned each one’s mannerisms and facial expressions when demanding attention; or their certain meows when asking for food. I miss my cats that have moved on, but, I read an expression that helps: “Cats come and go, but they never leave.”
Q: How would you describe your cats’ personalities?
A: I recently adopted Rose, a black, semi-feral kitten (from RASKC). She is quite a character with her combination of sweet and feral behaviors. As she eats, her eyes dart around the kitchen, safeguarding her dinner from other predators. When she plays, she drags her treasures off to a secret hiding place and I won’t see them for days. But in the morning, she weaves around my ankles asking to be held. One day, as I was making a video of her, she became determined to wrangle a blanket off a chair. When she strained to drag it off to her secret place she would stealthily look around to make sure no other animals, especially me, were there to steal it. Whenever her eyes looked at me they flashed like a little devil’s. With those flashing gold eyes against her jet black coat, she is stunning and blossoming into a beautiful cat. You can see her video on YouTube under “Kitten Captures Wild Blanket”.
My senior cat, Chloe, is the perfect example of a curious cat. Anything new that comes into the home must be sat and groomed on: groceries, mail, purse, books, laundry… Gray with white markings, Chloe is quiet and feminine, but she does have quite a naughty streak. When Rose moved in to the apartment, Chloe started teaching her all the tricks of living here. She taught her the good secrets such as the best places to sleep and where the sunlight falls. But Chloe also taught her mischievous secrets such as the best ways to get onto the kitchen counter before I can catch them. She understands “No!” but always argues back. Thank goodness she is also teaching Rose the meaning of “No!”
Q: Describe a memorable moment you’ve had with an animal?
A: A black and white feral kitten named Oreo (of course) came to the Kirkland adoption center. She was very scared and shook with fear behind her litter box. For some reason I was drawn to her and wanted to try to relieve some of her fear and start socializing her. Every day that I had a shift I hurried through my tasks and spent a lot of time with her. After a while she let me come close and pet her. I was so motivated that I even came in on my days off. She began to relax. After about two weeks she let me take her out and she would fall asleep on my lap. I was proud of her for undergoing such a radical change in her experience at the center.
Q: What is the best advice you would give people who want pets?
A: Don’t adopt an animal because they are cute, or because you saw a funny picture of one on YouTube. You need to ask yourself if you are ready for a long term emotional and financial commitment to care for an animal’s welfare.
Learn more about RASKC’s Volunteer Program by visiting us at: www.kingcounty.gov/RASKCvolunteer