Pat’s Wildways: For the Love of Cats

Pat’s Wildways: For the Love of Cats
Pat’s Wildways: For the Love of Cats

By Pat Foster-Turley
September 23, 2022

There’s nothing a lot better for Pat Foster-Turley than a lap stuffed with kittens.

I’ve all the time been a cat individual. All through junior and senior highschool I volunteered and finally received paid to work on the native animal hospital, the place I used to be identified to have the ability to calm essentially the most frightened cats. Bucko and I’ve all the time had a cat all through our 46 years collectively, however solely one after the other, all calico/torties. Bandita and Masala each lived to be about 18 years previous, and our present cat Dumela is just 10 with hopefully eight extra years to go.

Bucko is adamant about being a one-cat family however that’s not almost sufficient cat love in my life. Now that I’ve found volunteer alternatives on the Nassau Humane Society in Fernandina Seaside I’ve discovered achievement. My volunteer job is to “socialize” the cats within the facility. In different phrases, I’ve free reign to go to the cats and kittens, play with them, groom them, no matter, each time the middle is open. Wow, how come I didn’t study this sooner!

The grownup cats within the cattery are supplied with toys, completely different meals, catnip and the corporate of cat-loving volunteers.

I’ve solely been to the power in my new position thrice up to now, however that’s all within the first week and already I get to know a couple of of the feline residents and a number of the variety people who make this potential. Many of the older cats roam free within the “cattery,” two giant rooms, an air conditioned inside room and a big screened-in exterior space. The cats are free to maneuver between the rooms and there are platforms, chairs, bins, tunnels, litterboxes, and water bowls positioned all through the realm. Toys of all descriptions litter the ground, cat brushes are helpful, and the cats are given quite a lot of completely different manufacturers of cat meals and treats that cater to their particular person tastes. A few of the chairs are simply effective for guests too, and should you sit too lengthy in a single you simply would possibly find yourself with a cat in your lap, which isn’t a foul factor a minimum of for me.

The king cat of the cattery is Tank, who was rescued by long run, nearly every day, volunteers Cindi and Roy Carter, who spent weeks attempting to befriend him when he was within the wild, and eventually succeeded. Tank has been on the heart so lengthy and develop into such a pal of the employees and volunteers that the Nassau Humane Society adopted him themselves, to dwell his life on this luxurious setting with folks doting on him. One other cattery resident Ferdi might find yourself staying there for a very long time too. He’s blind in a single eye, which makes him startle simply when approached unexpectedly, however he additionally has the considerably annoying trait of attacking folks’s legs. However solely to get extra consideration. As soon as somebody begins taking part in with him, dangling a feather on a string or one thing, he’s all set. That’s what we volunteers are for.

Different cats get adopted rapidly. In the course of the week I’ve been visiting, two grownup cats received adopted out, Millie and Marcus. In keeping with Alec Rowe, the Adoption Supervisor, Marcus solely lived on the Nassau Humane Society for every week, whereas he received checked out by the animal care employees. When he was deemed prepared to affix the cats within the cattery he solely lasted 40 minutes there earlier than he was adopted.

Stephanie Miller, Govt Director of the Nassau Humane Society shares her workplace with Gremlin (pictured) and Little Lee.

Different grownup cats that may’t affiliate with others for numerous causes are housed in extra-large particular person cages (the “condos”). Stephanie Miller, the Govt Director of the Humane Society, shares her workplace with a cat or two as nicely. Lately she housed previous Tiger King there in his ultimate days, earlier than he died of age-related points this previous week. Tiger had lengthy lived within the facility, roaming freely all through the workplaces and hallways, the “sheriff” of the place, they stated. His passing was a tragic event nevertheless it was a fortunate break for Gremlin and Little Lee, a bonded grownup pair, who’ve moved from a apartment to her workplace till they win over another person’s coronary heart.

And don’t get me began in regards to the kitten room—cuteness overload! A few dozen small kittens are housed in cages right here a number of the time, however largely they roam unfastened within the room entertaining adoring guests and potential adopters. Like the principle cattery, this room is stuffed with cat toys and comfortable areas to take a seat. In contrast to the older cats, these small felines like to play, and the room is often stuffed with the joyful laughter of these watching their antics. There are few issues extra pleasing to me than sitting on a pillow with child cats on my lap and extra taking part in in entrance of me. Now the numbers of kittens are diminished as they too get adopted. And that’s a superb factor.

Playful kittens entertain adopters and guests to the Nassau Humane Society.

If you wish to assist the Nassau Humane Society you possibly can volunteer, donate, undertake and even attend their annual fundraiser, “Pasta for Paws” arising October 26. Try their web site, name them at 904-321-1647, or cease by the power on Airport Street throughout visiting hours starting at 11 a.m. most days.

And simply possibly once you go to you’ll see me taking part in with the cats. I simply can’t keep away!!!!

Pat Foster-Turley, Ph.D., is a zoologist on Amelia Island. She welcomes your nature questions and observations.


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