Busy, Busy, Busy…and we wouldn’t have it any other way. An early spring makes for some exciting times at With a Little Help From My Friends. The entire family, animals and those of us who care for them, can feel it. Just walk into the foyer and watch as the dogs, Vinney, Summer, Sara and (soon to be adopted) Buddy the Beagle fairly prance with joy at the anticipation of affectionate attention and, hopefully, a walk that doesn’t involve slogging through the quickly melting snow! The cat room fairly vibrates with feline energy. Even though we currently house only eight feline friends, the room is awash with pouncing and leaping. Now that the “Catio” is user friendly again, there is a line up at the kitty door for coveted access to the breezy outdoor area. It is clear that change is in the air—even Buddy (the cat) is bouncier! At a hefty 15.7 pounds (he is big boned but would like to note his is losing weight!) that is quite a sight. He does indeed love to hang out on the outdoor ledge, especially when the sun is shining and he can bask and bake in the almost forgotten warmth. Our babies, Wink, Carl, Brody and Bailey, are now feline adolescents and have formed a furry gang. They move in twos and threes ambushing the unsuspecting visitor and demanding attention. They are growing up to be so very beautiful and affectionate.
It is hard for me to believe the changes that a few short months bring. Soon it will be time to welcome a new crop of babies to the Center. I know, as an animal advocate and firm believer in population control, I should not be so enthusiastically anticipating the latest incarnation of “kitten season”, but I just can’t help myself. Give me a lap full of babies to cuddle or a needy bottle baby, and I am in my element. It was just one year ago (March 5) that our beautiful Sami gave birth as Jenna and I watched, entranced. All adopted into loving homes, those beautiful babies and their adorable mom gave me such a feeling of joy and reassurance that life will indeed, find a way. It is comforting, in this season of change, to know that some things are eternal. Love and kindness toward animals breeds tolerance for our neighbors. Love is generous, and there is plenty of generosity in evidence at the Center. Our volunteer ranks are beginning to swell with returning “summer” residents. And what a welcome sight they are! Many hands not only make lighter work, they make the work more fun. It is joyful to watch our dog walkers harness up the doggy crew! Their enjoyment is matched only by the gleeful yips and prances of the canine contingent. While the rooms are cleared of doggy energy, Pooh and Juno (our permanent residents) are able to leave their own private kitty enclave and enjoy the company of Jenna and Mona as they go about the business of business—all those necessary tasks that keep the Center up and running so that the rest of us volunteers can have the fun! It would be too selfish to consider keeping such a wonderful experience to myself, so here are some ways in which you can join in the often hilarious and necessary tasks of running a pet crisis center:
Come and visit. Who knows, you may just fall in love
Stay and help. We can always use extra hands. There is no shortage of work: petting, kissing, cuddling. Oh, and cleaning, scrubbing, laundering, dusting, organizing…
Walk a dog or two. Take a pair down the road and see if you can spot the occasional wild visitor: turkeys, bunnies, the odd deer, crows in abundance and the occasional raptor.
Play cat companion. One of the many benefits of added volunteers is that cleaning does not take up the entire time. Cats benefit from socialization. They become more “user friendly”, seeking out human attention and affection and thus becoming more likely to find permanent loving homes.
Gardening. Already little green noses are poking through where just last week there was snow. Weeds grow faster than kittens, and like kittens, need attention (of a different sort, however).
Fund raising is forever. That slogan, first heard when I worked in animal rescue in California, is my mantra. All non-profits can seek funding in so many ways that there must be one that would suit any volunteer whose interests are geared toward the fiscal.
Need More Options?…Here are some important dates, so do mark your calendar and join us for work, fun, dining and shopping:
--Clean-Up Day at the Center is May 7th from 10am to 3 pm. Help provide some elbow grease so that we are spick and span for spring and summer fun!
--13th Annual Garage Sale is June 11th 8am to 4pm at the ASI Community Center in Bellaire. Great volunteer opportunities in set-up, pricing, sales and clean-up. Don’t miss out! Great finds, great people and a great cause. This is a major fundraiser for the Center, so do join us! Donations are always appreciated you can drop them off at the center or Friday June 10th from 1pm-7pm at the ASI Community Center.
--16th Annual Chili Cook-Off and Silent Auction. October 30th from 4-7pm at the Helena Township Hall in Alden. Come hungry and check out the fabulous auction items!
--NEW THIS YEAR…Wine Tasting and Silent Auction. Dates, Time and Place to be announced, so keep reading our Newsletter and column.
See you at the Center!!