Archive for February, 2007

A difficult debut

Last Saturday I finally got my chance to “lead” a cat adoption at ARF. There was some confusion about whether I could be shadowed (instead of doing the shadowing) at first, so initially I did the same as in previous weeks: observed someone else doing an adoption. It was an easy one.
After things were cleared up, it was decided that the cat adoption manager would shadow me. My turn quickly arrived. The adoptions manager brought me the application for a couple who lived not far from Brentwood. She introduced us and I sat down and made some small talk. “Wow, you guys had raccoons and squirrels as pets?” On the application they had indicated that the new cat would be indoors, in talking to them, they admitted that it would have free access to the outside via a cat door, just like their other animals. Their current cats can go outside at night, and the new one would too. This is a big no-no at our shelter.
At this point I realized that these people were not good candidates for adopting a cat. I had to do that most difficult thing adoption counselors do at ARF: say no. I struggled at first, looked over at the “pro” adoption counselor at my side, and let her take over. She used the diplomatic language that I’ve been trying to learn, and they ended up getting a little upset and said they were going to the “regular” shelter instead, where they could adopt a cat without all these people asking questions.
So, I wrote a few notes in their application and returned it to the adoptions manager. This wasn’t an easy way to start out… everyone admitted that. I’m hoping that this weekend I’ll get a better opportunity.

A promotion, of sorts

I got a bit of a surprise at my volunteer job yesterday when the woman in charge of cat adoptions said that I can start being shadowed instead of shadowing others. I figured I was months away from that (especially with the very slow pace of adoptions lately), so this was news to me. So, if all goes as planned, next Saturday *I’ll* be the one doing the adoptions, with the veteran counselors keeping an eye on me.
The cat adoption manager said that I have “good people skills” — which was really a shock. That’s something I wouldn’t say about myself at all. But outsiders often see things that I miss — intentionally or otherwise.

Best news of the week

GROUPS L-4002 AND L-4003 ONLY, PLEASE REPORT THIS AFTERNOON, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH, PROMPTLY AT 1:30PM, to the Wiley Manuel Courthouse at 661 Washington St. in Oakland, 3rd Floor, Rm. 306. ALL OTHER GROUPS, YOUR SERVICE IS COMPLETE FOR ONE YEAR. THANK YOU!
Yessssss! (I was in group L-4000)

Now that’s what I call good PR


General Electric is getting into the digital camera business. Well, sort of — they’re just licensing out their name. Anyhow, included with the usual PR info they sent me, I also got the huge chocolate bar you see above. They must know what I like!

Devil in disguise?


I’m starting to think that Zoe is possessed by demons (and the above photo really helps support this claim). She hates everyone and likes me maybe 50% of the time (she always snuggles on the couch or in bed). She really enjoys biting my dad whenever he visits.
Last year I brought Zoe over to my parents house to meet Pete (who died of kidney failure a month later). It didn’t work out, to say the least.
Jump ahead to this weekend. I figured that since the kittens were smaller than her, they might get along okay. Wrong again. When they first met, all three cats were in defensive positions, with fluffy tails and arched backs. After a while the kittens stopped caring (just like they did when they met Jackson a few weeks back), but Zoe wouldn’t have it. She got more and more angry as the night went on, and finally she just went after one of the kittens… so I put her back in her box and took her home.
Today I let her outside (supervised of course) like I often do. She immediately ran down to the gate to the backyard and sat on top of it, meowing at the top of her lungs. Her tail was fluffed and she meowed angrily at me. She obviously smelled another cat. I trimmed some trees while I waited for her to calm down. She finally approached me and seemed to be more relaxed. She then smelled the doormat and got all upset again, and took a swat at my hand. I decided (perhaps foolishly) that it was time to bring her in. Well, if you’ve ever tried to pick up an angry cat you know that this is a recipe for trouble. I got scratched on the hand pretty good, so I ended up grabbing her by the scruff of the neck and carrying her upstairs. She was screaming the whole way up.
She’s back to “normal” now, but I’m still disappointed with her. She’s turned out to be quite the unfriendly cat, and I’m not sure what to do about it. I was really hoping to adopt a “friend” for her, but that’s not going to happen.
To make up for the angry kitty photo above, I have some really cute pictures of the kittens after the link.

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