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Pat’s Wildways: For the Love of Cats

By Pat Foster-Turley
September 23, 2022

There may be nothing a lot better for Pat Foster-Turley than a lap filled with kittens.

I’ve all the time been a cat particular person. All through junior and senior highschool I volunteered and finally acquired paid to work on the native animal hospital, the place I used to be recognized 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 by one, 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 is not practically sufficient cat love in my life. Now that I’ve found volunteer alternatives on the Nassau Humane Society in Fernandina Seaside I’ve discovered success. 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 did not study this sooner!

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

I’ve solely been to the power in my new function thrice to this point, however that is all within the first week and already I get to know a couple of of the feline residents and among the form people who make this attainable. Many of the older cats roam free within the “cattery,” two giant rooms, an air-conditioned inside room and a big screened-in outdoors space. The cats are free to maneuver between the rooms and there are platforms, chairs, packing containers, tunnels, litterboxes, and water bowls positioned all through the world. Toys of all descriptions litter the ground, cat brushes are helpful, and the cats are given quite a lot of totally different manufacturers of cat meals and treats that cater to their particular person tastes. A few of the chairs are simply fantastic for guests too, and if you happen to sit too lengthy in a single you simply would possibly find yourself with a cat in your lap, which isn’t a nasty factor a minimum of for me.

The king cat of the cattery is Tank, who was rescued by long run, nearly day by day, volunteers Cindi and Roy Carter, who spent weeks making an attempt to befriend him when he was within the wild, and at last succeeded. Tank has been on the heart so lengthy and develop into such a buddy of the workers and volunteers that the Nassau Humane Society adopted him themselves, to dwell his life on this luxurious setting with individuals doting on him. One other cattery resident Ferdi could 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 individuals’s legs. However solely to get extra consideration. As soon as somebody begins enjoying with him, dangling a feather on a string or one thing, he’s all set. That is what we volunteers are for.

Different cats get adopted shortly. Through the week I’ve been visiting, two grownup cats acquired adopted out, Millie and Marcus. Based on Alec Rowe, the Adoption Supervisor, Marcus solely lived on the Nassau Humane Society for per week, whereas he acquired checked out by the animal care workers. When he was deemed prepared to hitch 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 varied 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 married previous Tiger King there in his closing 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 from him was a tragic event nevertheless it was a fortunate break for Gremlin and Little Lee, a bonded grownup pair, who’ve moved from a condominium to her workplace till they win over another person’s coronary heart.

And do not get me began concerning the kitten room—cuteness overload! A few dozen small kittens are housed in cages right here among the time, however largely they roam free within the room entertaining adoring guests and potential adopters. Like the primary cattery, this room is crammed with cat toys and smooth areas to sit down. In contrast to the older cats, these small felines like to play, and the room is normally crammed with the completely happy laughter of these watching their antics. There are few issues extra pleasant to me than sitting on a pillow with child cats on my lap and extra enjoying in entrance of me. Now the numbers of kittens are diminished as they too get adopted. And that is a very good factor.

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

If you wish to assist the Nassau Humane Society you’ll be able to volunteer, donate, undertake and even attend their annual fundraiser, “Pasta for Paws” arising October 26. Try their web site https://nassauhumane.org, name them at 904- 321-1647, or cease by the power on Airport Street throughout visiting hours starting at 11 am most days.

And simply possibly once you go to you may see me enjoying with the cats. I simply cannot keep away!!!!

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

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