Monday, March 17, 2014

3/17/2014

Good morning!   Yucky morning,  high of 40


Good morning, BCR bloggers! You know me as 'Highland Hen' on chat. I'm Fiona from Asheville, NC, and I'm sharing my BCR volunteer experience with you today. It's very hard work but the rewards are so great! 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BCR VOLUNTEER

How did I end up volunteering at Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary?
Late in 2012, I read a story about BCR online and was instantly fascinated. I just knew in my heart that I’d have to visit. I figured they might like a bit of help in return for letting me visit all the wonderful cats. So off I went in March of 2013 for a week of volunteer work. It’s a 6-7 hour drive, so I wanted my trip to count for something. 

What is the first and most important thing you need to know about your volunteer experience?
If you want to keep up with the hard-working people at BCR, better bring your industrial strength alarm clock because getting up at 7 AM is a case of “sleeping in.” Work begins by 8:30 a.m. every day and 7:30 a.m. on Sundays!

The day I arrived, Alana met me at the motel where I was staying to escort me to BCR since I didn’t know the way. She called my room, said “I’ll be there in 3 minutes.” I figured, OK – enough time for another quick tooth brushing, getting my stuff together and final check to be sure I was ready to go. Lo and behold, I stepped out the motel room door and there was Alana saying “Three minutes!” If it hadn’t been my first day and first impression, I’d have bent over double laughing. As it was, all I could do was mumble apologies. Alana has this automatic clock in her head – I doubt she’s ever early or late for anything!  (Response from Alana,  Nope...never late.. always early,  being on time is late in my book LOL)

Finally arriving at BCR!
I was excited but nervous. Everything was totally new and strange to me. Could I cut the mustard? Thank goodness, Alana and the employees soon warmed up to me and my sincere desire to help, not lollygag with the cats.

Every morning begins with stripping all the rooms of beds and blankets. Next chore is sweeping and steam mopping the indoor and outdoor floors. Then, washing all the walls and windows, cleaning climbers, and checking for any spots needing extra attention. And scooping litter boxes!

While cleaning the rooms and lobbies, you wash a boatload of laundry and washing dishes from last night. The dry food bowls and water fountains are cleaned and replaced in the rooms and lobbies. All water is filtered and the cats are given clean, fresh water daily. The cats are fed wet food several times a day - those bowls are washed and dried after every meal. And, again, you scoop the litter boxes!

Refurbishing all the rooms with fresh beds, blankets, and toys for the kitties. Believe it or not, this was the hardest part for me! I have absolutely no color coordination or decorating sense, I often had to ask the patient people of BCR to help me out with the new bedding. They always make the rooms look so comfy and cozy for the cats. 

As it happened, my first volunteer stint was the week before an Open House Saturday. That also meant power washing all the catios. Man, that was hard work!

All of the above is done BY 11:30 a.m. if you can believe it! 

Many of you know, there is a live webcam tour from noon to 12:30 p.m. for the one building. As a volunteer, I did my best – but probably made a few folks seasick on the first try. That camera is hard to handle! So next time you see a tour, give them some applause, it isn’t easy.







The cats hope you will please vote for the cats to win in the following contests 


DAILY (category LARGE RESCUE Shelter, Blind Cat ) 



Thank you for helping the cats!! Please like & share




Boxes

Thank you so much for your gifts to the cats from our wish lists!


It is so kind of you to be so generous to the cats!!

Thank you Patricia Frazier for the Amazon Gift card!
Thank you Shirley Reichert for the Amazon Gift Card!



Thank you Miss JL Kalashnikoff for the food

Thank you Sharon Clark for the food!
Thank you unnamed for the carrier!
Thank you unnamed for the Gain!


Thank you Sharon El_Saadi for the Gain and dryer sheets!
Thank you unnamed for the tower of tracks toy and the foods!
Thank you Linda Swoboda for the car bed!