Volunteer of the Month – July 2017

Jane Kwiatkowski – I have loved cats all my life. One of my earliest and happiest memories is of my family’s black cat, pressing against my side like a wall of softness half as tall as me when I was a baby. My best buddy of childhood was my grey cat who played with me and followed me like a dog everywhere I went in our neighborhood. When my husband and I were newly married, our first “cat” was a quietly smiling, fuzzy black gumdrop-shaped toy cat who lived on the top shelf of our bookcase in our apartment where we renters were not allowed to have a real cat.

Cats became a permanent part of my family when my children were young, and a tiny grey-and-white tuxedo girl was dropped in our yard when we weren’t looking. Of course, we had to get her a friend, so she was soon joined by a spotted black-and-white tuxedo boy from the shelter. In the 30 years since then, we have had five more cats, two or three at a time, up through our current two boys, one of whom “followed me home” from the PetSmart North cattery in 2013.

Until recently I was always busy with family and work, so I never had time to do more for cats than share my home and love with these seven furry family members. But now, after retiring, I finally have time to join other volunteers helping cats and kittens find real homes and families.

I am one of the cattery volunteers who helps the cats and kittens get as comfortable as possible so that prospective adopters can see them at their best and most social. What I love is patiently waiting for them to overcome their shyness to allow me to make contact. I love the delicate extension of trust they give – if you wait long and quietly enough. And best of all is the chance to give them tenderness once they let you begin petting them, or when they finally climb into your lap, or when a little kitten relaxes completely into sleep in your arms, or leaps with delight after a toy. (Editors note: Jane was too shy in her bio to mention that she is the creator of our new logo design. Everyone is very excited)