Night #6 – Extreme Sleepover 2: A Not-So-Silent-Night

Donation Total: $4100.25

Temperature: -33 (Feels like -47)

I brought Lady to Jubilee Elementary where kids at the school collected money and presented me with their $256.45 donation towards my sleepover fundraiser. I loved that the kids were so excited to be involved and contribute to the Humane Society. They had lots of questions about the sleepover and the animals that kept me company. It was heartwarming to hear the stories of kids donating their allowance and emptying their piggy banks for the cause. Lady stopped in a bunch of different classrooms, ate lunch leftovers out of the garbage cans and soaked up all of the attention from the kids. She’s a classy guest.

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8:44pm Arrive at shelter armed with supplies. It’s going to get crazy in here!

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8:55pm Let the big cats out for the Tuna Temptation Buffet. I am a tad overwhelmed by the sheer volume of cats.

9:10pm Give some tuna to the cats too shy to get into the buffet line. While everyone is distracted I clean litter boxes.

9:20pm Let the cats wander around for awhile. They check out eachothers hammocks, condos and perches. The grass is always greener on the other side.

9:30pm Begin the task of putting 24 cats in their proper communal cages. I now know where the idiom “Like hearding cats” comes from. That stuff isn’t easy! I’m sure there are several where they don’t belong.

9:45pm I think I’ve got them all. Time to start the underage party! Look at all that orange! There are 3 different litters.

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Mmmm…Good til the last flake!image

10:00pm I am a bad influence. I give catnip to the shelter minors.

10:10pm Sweet little Hope finds her way into my lap again. She’s the most affectionate kitten out of the bunch and will seek me out in the middle of playing. She takes a break and washes up after her meal.image

10:15pm I open up a Christmas stocking of toys and let the kittens play in the office while visit the other cats with Temptations treats and Catnip.

10:30pm We’ve got a lot of overstimulated cats tonight!
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10:40pm Shut down the kitten party and put them to bed despite their protesting meows. “Just 5 more minutes! We aren’t tired yet!”

10:50pm Pick my sleeping buddy for the night. Here’s where I will let you all in on a little secret. We had $2191 in donations between midnight on December 5th  and midnight on December 6th, which will be matched by the Norwester Motor Inn/Milltown Sports Bar. So the fundrasing total is now $6291.25, which technically means I should be sleeping in my own bed tonight, but I didn’t feel it was fair to end the sleepover before everyone had a chance to spend the night with me. So I doubled up with the last two dogs, Knight and Princess. I made sure to double check they have both been fixed so I didn’t have to add a puppy conception story to the blog. Spay and neuter, folks!

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10:55pm Give all the dogs a chewy bone. Princess settles down on the bed with hers. Knight takes his outside.image

11:00pm Knight has a terrible habit of standing in the doorway, letting all the cold air in. CLOSE THE DOOR! Were you raised in a barn?!

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11:11pm Princess checks out the cats and Knight stands guard over me.

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11:28pm Time for bed! I drift off to sleep with “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” on the radio, and Princess’ butt in my face.

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11:30pm I hear extra voices singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. Paula and Randy pay a visit with bedtime snacks, or as I like to call it, Bed Lunch.

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11:35pm Paula says I look homeless.

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I guess she’s not entirely wrong. Checking out a book and the last donation before Midnight from Tanis and Rufus! Thanks guys!

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11:50pm Paula and Randy leave.

12:00am Back to sleep! Princess tries to steal my remaining hot chocolate so I place it outside the dog door that’s behind the draft stopper.

12:10am Princess tries to steal my slippers. I hide them under the covers.

12:15am Princess tries to steal my glasses…I’m starting to think Princess is a thief. I hang them up on the chain link. Why didn’t I think of that sooner?

12:25pm Sleep. For real.

5:30am A cat is randomly meowing, just to hear itself. Vocals are working great. Good job, cat. Check on the dogs. Knight is curled up on my feet and Princess is by my head. They are super sleepers, not a peep out of them.

imageimage7:00am Wake up. I leave the dogs in bed and go and start packing my things. It is truly bitter sweet; while I am excited to go home, my heart is heavy to leave these guys behind.

7:30am Start my vehicle and load my bags, making sure not to lock myself out.

8:00am Bev arrives for her shift and brings me muffins fresh out of the oven for breakfast. Seriously. We have the best volunteers in the world. And I’m not just saying that because they feed me.

8:10am I put Princess and Knight back in their cages and clean up my kennel. I give all the dogs a cookie before a reluctantly leave my home away from home for the past 6 nights.

8:15am Extreme Sleepover 2: COMPLETE!

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Thank you those who have donated and encouraged others to do so. Your support allows us to continue doing what we love for the animals in our care. I am overwhelmed by the many people, not just in Meadow Lake but from all over Canada,who showed their support for our little shelter on the prairie.

Thank you to the devoted volunteers who made sure I had a warm place to sleep, food in my belly and love in my heart, and the fact that you do this every day, all year round for the animals that come through our doors. I can think of no better place for these animals to be than in the tender loving care of our volunteers. There would be no Humane Society without each and every one of you. Please know that your work is truly valuable and you make a difference in the lives of animals and the families that adopt them.

And last, but certainly not least, thank you to the animals for your uncontintional love, content purrs, slobbery kisses and for the comfort and warmth you provided me when I needed it the most. I am inspired by the fact that even though someone has turned their back on you, abandoned or abused you, that you stil have the capacity to forgive and to love, and you shared that with me.

You can learn a lot about being a better person by hanging out with dogs and cats.

So while I lay my head down to sleep tonight in comfort of my own bed, my heart and my mind will be with those animals who call the shelter home. I take comfort knowing they are safe and warm with full bellies and hearts full of love, and I hope that someday soon, their forever homes will find them.

And maybe, just maybe, they’ll have a home for the holidays too.

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