A Volunteer's Story
I first saw the cat in the early hours of the morning as I made my rounds delivering newspapers. It was standing in the carport of a house I was delivering to and it came running to me as I neared the house. What a friendly little thing I thought as I bent to pat it. I noted that the cat seemed a bit scruffy and I wondered what it was doing outside at four o'clock in the morning. I dismissed the thought, delivered my paper and headed back to my car. The cat followed a ways and I almost wondered if it wanted to come home with me. Once again, I dismissed the thought. Surely it must have belonged to this home.
I didn't see the cat again for a few weeks. It was colder outside and I shivered as I approached the same house where I had seen the cat before. There it was, once again, standing in the carport. It didn't come running to greet me this time but stood there, almost wavering as if it were going to lose its balance. I knelt down to pet it and was horrified to see that the fur was so badly matted that it felt hard to the touch. It must have been at least an inch thick. One could almost knock on it and make a sound as if you were knocking on a door. I delivered the paper and stood for a few moments, wondering what to do. I still had an hour's worth of deliveries to do on my route.
Maybe I'll come back when I'm done, I thought. Perhaps it will still be here. I started back to my car and turned around to look as I opened my door. The cat had followed me part way down the driveway and just stood there, wavering back and forth. I couldn't walk away this time. I ran back, scooped up the helpless creature and brought it to my car. I made a bed for it on my back seat out of a spare jacket and shirt. We finished my route together and I drove home with my passenger. Later that morning, I made an appointment with my vet and took my sick friend in.
I was told that it was an older male and he needed a lot of medical attention which I couldn't afford. The vet recommended I take the cat to the SPCA. I dreaded the thought as I knew what would probably happen. I cried the whole way over as I saw no other choice for the poor creature. I dropped "Scruffy" off at the Surrey SPCA, told the attendants my story and gave a donation for him. Much to my relief, they told me he would be tended to, shaved, given any necessary mediation, etc. (I think this was when the SPCA was attempting to adopt a no-kill program.) I thought of Scruffy many times after that and wondered whatever became of him. I vowed that whenever I could, I would try to do something to help pets in need.
It wasn't long after that, when I was shopping at PetSmart (buying supplies for my own three cats), that I came across a brochure about C.A.R.E.S., a no-kill cat shelter. If only I'd known about this place for Scruffy, I thought. I also remembered my vow. I signed on as a volunteer at the shelter. That was in 2001. Since then, I have repeatedly experienced the joy in seeing homeless cats in need receive love, shelter, medical attention and, best of all, new homes. That is why I came to C.A.R.E.S. That is why I will continue to volunteer at C.A.R.ES.
Lauralee Porter - Adoptions Volunteer
VOLUNTEER POWER - The Success of C.A.R.E.S.
Susan Kushner – Director, Secretary, PetSmart
I first came to C.A.R.E.S. about three years ago when I was looking for a great place to volunteer. I have not been disappointed once. I was pleasantly surprised when I first went to the shelter and saw how organized and efficiently it ran. I was thrilled to see how happy and spoiled the cats were. Scratching posts aplenty, many toys, lots of attention and good quality food, plus treats!!! - kitty heaven, I thought, for the unfortunate cats looking for good homes. I knew at this point this was what I was looking for. I started out with the Sunday morning crew at the shelter and eventually changed to PetSmart where I adopt from Luv-A-Pet.
All was well in my world until last July when my eighteen year old tuxedo cat, Sylvester, was diagnosed with cancer. When Dr Surbey gave me the news, I cannot explain the pain in the pit of my stomach and heart; I felt for my much loved cat. When Sylvester went to kitty heaven, I was completely devastated and found I had a huge void in my life. At this point, I asked Lauralee to match me up with a cat that needed someone as much as I did.
At this point, here enters Marilyn and Tinker into my life. These two are a brother/sister team who were given up because their owner could no longer care for them. C.A.R.E.S. did not want to separate the two because they had always been together for their eight years of life. WHAT A COUPLE OF BEAUTIES!! They are a Siamese/tabby mix, with blue eyes. Tinker now drapes himself over me whenever I am watching TV and he also loves to work with me on the computer. In fact, he should probably have his own email address. My Marilyn is timid and shy but is very happy in her new pink bed, watching us as she pretends to be asleep. Thank you, C.A.R.E.S., for the wonderful job you did for me and our community at large.
Submitted by Susan Kushner, C.A.R.E.S. Volunteer