After about 2 months, the snow was finally gone and the beautiful onset of spring brought in the desire to go out more often. On one of our Friday night eat outs (Or like I called it, date night) I was a at a local diner where I spotted a poster for a cat sanctuary. My curiosity piqued! I wanted to know more and so one day I got the husband to drive me all the way to the cat shelter. My joy knew no bounds. I saw at least 100 different cats and kittens of all colours, shapes and sizes, all of them being taken care of by volunteers who spent a few hours each week to keep the place looking completely worthy of royalty. After all, cats are royalty.
In the 3 or so months that I spent doing volunteer work (I wouldn't really call it work, more like the happiest moments of my life), I learned so many great things and met so many wonderful people that when I was leaving I didn't have the heart to say goodbye. I couldn't bring myself to wake up, drive and actually say the words good bye to those beautiful faces.
What did the cat shelter teach me? Oh. So many things. Firstly, with a little help even the most unhelpful looking members of our natural world are capable of changing lives. Those cats rescued me from a dull spring. I'm sure those cats have over the years added purpose to many people's lives. Better yet, they've gone into families and rescued them with love, hope and joy that only a pet can bring.
I learned so much about love. About appreciation. Every single day there would be people, adults and children who would want to contribute their time and effort to making these cats feel special. People who would foster them and love them and spoil them with goodies. My lesson was on kindness.
Finally, my greatest takeaway was to not feel guilty about making no difference at all. Every time I said "I care about animals" I'd have at least one smart mouthed person who would say stuff like "what about poverty? what about people dying of malnutrition?" and I would feel both guilty, helpless and angry for not doing anything about poverty, but how could I rescue anyone a thousand miles away from me? My 3 month stint at the cat shelter taught me that I didn't need be guilty for helping one group over the other. As citizens of the earth, it lies upon us to help our weakest. Whether it is people in need or animals or trees. We can't rescue everybody and that is the great tragedy. However, we can (try to) make a difference (ever so slightly) by helping everyone within our reach.