In my younger years I did a lot of volunteering at local animal shelters, and spent one day a month, for six years, helping to spay/neuter 2,500 feral cats.
The transport coordinator was happier with personing the ER van than dealing with volunteers so I set up my systems. After many years they re-named Dee’s Kitty Wake-Up List with a better title, finally. We had cleaners of traps, transporters, breathers who learned to use Dee’s Kitty Wake-Up List to make sure they were napping and not still under anesthesia, and of course the all-important ER. All shots and fluids came from there. I once had to resuscitate a young kitten for two hours using acupressure. It scared the heck out of me thinking that he could die. He lived. I called out his number and a volunteer ran to get his carrier and he was awake.
I made a few jokes in my volunteer training each month, and SFSPCA asked me for a re-do and filmed it. What do you do if an anesthetized cat starts peeing on you? Reach out your arms! The video was me with Snowflake The Wonder Kitty (a white bean bag kitty that I bought for training that had about as much muscle control as our anesthetized patients, and I had “tipping” do his ear). Snowflake is how I taught them how to load the sleeping patients into their carriers. I’ve still never seen the film.
No-one wants to carry around a 15 lb. feral cat, AWAKE. Heavens, I’ve seen cute feral kittens at eight weeks run around inside a crate like banshees!
Get Dee! Have her take this one to Surgery. It has tapeworms and needs a Dr’s order for Droncit! Another has ringworm. Get Dee! Another has mange. Get Dee! Before he wakes up. As we were in a warm climate I never wore surgical gloves.
I was so worn out after 8-9 hours that at first I let my dog and two cats sniff me. I was told never to do that, to get undressed before coming into the house and wash my clothing immediately. Two problems way back then. I had a carport and neighbors may have had a problem with my stripping outdoors. Second, I had no washer/dryer so just put them in a plastic bag until I could get to the laundromat. I did shower first thing.
Oh well, at least you know I was the “go to” gal. My volunteers loved me and while the organization wasn’t big on thank you’s, I was. Most of our events were in the back parking lot of vet clinics. Our team set up tents and handmade benches, by innovative volunteers, on which to set the carriers, and provided towels for each carrier. Every feral had two identical numbers that needed to be matched. Their caretakers would get up at three in the morning and one regularly caught more than thirty per month!
I would wait until after our setup and before Surgery was ready to go then peruse the strip mall and see if there was any food. “What’s going on back there?” I told them we have 174 cats today. Inevitably they paraded out with free water, donuts, sodas, whatever they had on hand when I told them we were all volunteers. A go-to gal indeed.
No more kitties. I don’t live there anymore and anywhere else I go they shoot feral cats. They do not reduce the population by spay/neuter. My husband is deathly allergic to cats, and fish, so I’ve lost both. Ah, well, no good deed goes unpunished. Volunteer! Dee