Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Nobody Told Me

When I became the Director for the rescue 4 years ago, there was so much to know and learn. Some of it was common sense. Other stuff...well...

Nobody told me....that I wouldn't be working with the cats. This is a people job. Volunteers, foster parents, adopters, jerks people who wanted to surrender their cats, etc. I'm not complaining about working with people. I'm probably one of the few people in cat rescue who really LIKE people. I believe that most people have good hearts and try to do the right thing.

Nobody told me... that words like "Poop", "Vomit", "Pee", "Urine", "Blood", "Anus", "Euthanize", "Discharge", and "Diarrhea" would become part of my common vocabulary. Enough said on that topic. You get the picture.

Nobody told me... that this was a SALES job. Of course, we're not selling cats. They are for adoption. But I'm still required to use descriptions, and care for these cats that make them adoptable. It hurts like hell to not take a cat from the shelter because the poor thing isn't adoptable.
I'm selling potential foster parent on the idea to give their home and heart for a cat that needs them. I'm selling volunteers on the idea to give their time, money and energy to help the rescue.

Nobody told me.... that I would consider selling my Mercedes Benz for a gas efficient hybrid because I drive so much. The inside of my car is filled with empty cat crates, foster lists, blank adoption agreements, and Tim Horton cups. There is cat hair stuck to the carpet of my car from it blowing out of crates from frightened cats from the shelter.

Nobody told me.... that I would be required to hold my tongue. God, there's so much I want to say to stupid people. We had an EX-foster home that adopted one of our cats and promptly had him declawed despite the fact that it's against our policy.
The number of people that call me daily that want to surrender their "beloved" cat drives me insane most days. Are you REALLY allergic?
I decided a while ago that it doesn't do anyone any good for me to *blast* stupid people. It just gets my blood pressure up and it doesn't change anything. Stupid is, as stupid does. Some days I worry that I'm getting numb to it all.

Nobody told me... that I'd be choosing outfits to wear each morning based on the colour of the cat hair, or if it easily snags. Lord help me if I wear a black shirt to an adoptathon.

Nobody told me... that I can't save the world. The cats just keep coming into the shelter. The phone calls from stupid people keep coming. But I can make a difference in the ONE cat that I save. I can make a difference in the life of the person that adopts that ONE cat.

Most importantly - Nobody told me how much I would love this job. I've never stayed with any job - volunteer or otherwise this long. Each morning, I brush off the dust of the previous day and am hopeful that THIS is the day that the vet at the shelter says there's nobody to euthanize. THIS is the day that people will be responsible with their pets.
THIS is the day that somebody leaves the rescue a million dollars.
Until this happens, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. Because there are kittens at the shelter like little Snapple that need us. Damn the people that hurt this little baby.
Maybe this is the day I won't hold my tongue.


Social Mange said...

A wise lady I know uses this motto...

You can't save the world.
But it's the world to the one you save.

Hang in, we can't do it without you!

Social Mange said...

Close but no cigar, here's the exact motto...

"You can't save every animal in the world but, for the one you do save, it IS the world."