I have been a volunteer for two years. I learned about Furry Friends in 2016 from a neighbor who was fostering kittens for you, and knew that I wanted to volunteer as soon as I retired from my full time job in Portland.
Now I’m part of the Monday morning shift and really enjoy it. Although I can do any cleaning job required — laundry, dishes, stocking, litter boxes — I’m still a little shy about administering medications. One of my challenges is learning to “read” signs from the cats as to whether or not they might welcome being handled.
My favorite part of volunteering is witnessing how far a particular cat will come with all of the daily care and attention they receive. Seeing very shy cats finally come out of hiding and start enjoying themselves makes me very, very happy.
Since my last full time job was quite labor intensive (I worked as a lead in a warehouse for a large picture framing company in Portland for 26 years), I’m thrilled to be retired. Now I work for three elderly people in their homes — cleaning, decluttering, doing yard work, and most importantly, listening, problem solving and laughing!
I have fostered kittens on several occasions, keeping three of them. At my previous home, I had a catio built for three feral cats who have since passed. I’ve also helped people trap feral cats in order to have them spay/neutered and receive their necessary shots. One recent success was Punky who came to my backyard in Woodland for food and shelter. Once he was trapped and brought to the shelter, he settled in and was soon adopted.
I also had Charlie who came to my backyard in Woodland. He stayed inside for two years and we tried desperately to have him accepted by all four of our cats. While two did accept him, we ultimately decided it was best for all involved, especially him, to bring him to the shelter. Despite being initially and understandably frightened, he bonded with another kitty named Jeffrey and warmed up to quite a few volunteers. Finally, a very nice young man came in and adopted both Charlie and Jeffrey! I still miss Charlie very much. He was quite a drooler!
My hobbies include doing crafts with children, making little cardboard jeeps for kittens and other fun toys, as well as reading, gardening and planting trees.
Furry Friends Volunteer Spotlights are compiled and written by Nomi Berger who is the bestselling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry, and hundreds of articles. She is a volunteer writer for Furry Friends in Vancouver, WA and also volunteers her writing skills to animal rescue groups in Canada and the USA.