When I got there, they had lots and lots of kitten food, but assured me that kitten season was coming, and the more the better. I told them I wasn't worried that it would go bad. Then, very cleverly, I said I wanted to volunteer, and were they looking. I got a peice of paper to read and sign. I can't remember it word for word, but I can give you the basic idea:
You do have insurance don't you? Because we're a free shelter and if you get bit or clawed you're SOL, we're not responsible. Oh, BTW? Are you old enough to sign this paper by yourself, or does your Mom or Dad have to sign also?So, today was my first day. It's very quiet right now, we only have about 16 cats and two of them are cats that will be at the shelter for the rest of their lives. So, it didn't take that long to clean up. However, I can already see that things might be a bit difficult there. We seem to have a large group of "special needs" people who come to "volunteer," and from what I could see, to them, "Volunteer" means, "Play with kitties and get in everyone's way." I understand, playing with cats is great fun, but they need to have their needs taken care of first.
I ended up cleaning one of the four rooms alone (there were only two cats living in it, but you still need to pull out the blankets and litterboxes from each cage, make sure they are clean, and wipe out the cages with disinfectant, so that the moment the cage is needed, it's clean) I vaccumed and washed it. Then, I vaccumed the kitten room and washed that. Then, I did the upper area. Then, I said, "I don't want to be rude on my first day, but I'm alergic to dust. I'm more than happy to do my share, but I draw the line at vaccumming and washing the entire place."
They were very understanding. I wouldn't have been nearly so vocal if everyone wasn't standing around talking or playing with kittens while I was working. Yes, I understand, I'm the new worker, and I fully expect to have to prove I'm a "good kid" by doing a lion's share of the grunt work. I don't mind that, but I guess the anal part of me screams, "This place should be spotless before we worry about playing with the cats! They are owed that much!"
I wish the place had more hours. They open in 2-2.5 hour blocks. Twice a day for five days, once a day for two. We're quiet right now, like I said, but everyone keeps warning me we're going to get really busy. I can see times coming where we'll barely be able to get the cages cleaned in those two hour blocks, never mind having time to show these cats some love. Maybe I'm worrying too much, I just started. But, it's part of my nature.
So, at least I feel like I'm doing something sort of useful with my life.