Temperature: -11 (Feels like -16)
Donation Total: $4155
Here is a link to a CBC story about the Extreme Sleepover! I couldn’t find the audio for the Radio interview.
5:30pm Arrive at Shelter. There was a note on the door from a teacher from Jubilee Elementary who had organized a fundraiser for the Extreme Sleepover. Jubilee helped me out last year as well. It is so great to see the community supporting the Humane Society, especially the younger generations, as they’re going to be the ones to carry on this work some day!
5:35pm There is a new arrival I picked up from the vet this afternoon. This handsome male cat was discovered with an injured back leg and brought to the vet by a kind member of the public. X-rays revealed a fractured back leg. He is on cage rest and pain medication.
5:45pm Send Slick off to his new home! I may have shed a tear or two after he left. It’s always bitter sweet to see them go. Fluffernutter was also picked up by a volunteer today to transport to his new home in Alberta. He has been renamed a much more modest “Coco”.
6:00pm Respond to a call about a stray cat. 3 cats in, one cat adopted.
6:30pm Let some cats out and then fall asleep.
6:45pm Paula comes for a cleaning/feeding shift and catches me napping and snaps a picture for evidence.
6:55pm I run to the grocery store a few things.
7:30pm Back at the shelter and have some supper. Osiris would like to share my salad.
And Gremlin finishes off my yogurt.
Thankfully I was able to eat my banana without any interference!
8:30pm Put cats away and head out for a bit.
10:00pm Back at the shelter. Let the dogs outside again.
10:13pm Get a message from my friend/boss Jennifer that Abundant Living will be running a promotion to collect donations for the Extreme Sleepover. Thank you!
10:30pm Decide to have a cat race, because what else do you do with all of these cats?! Jeff and I narrowed it down to the top 4 contenders, Hutch, Squeak, Clara and Poppy. They are all built for speed, or so we think. The amount of time it took to wrangle cats took far longer than the race itself!
11:00pm Let the dogs in and Pick my sleeping buddies for the night. Rocky the dog, along with cats Puff, Clara, Poppy and Selma.
Rocky is a 3 year old Rottweiler cross who was surrendered due to a change in his owners living situation. He was an outdoor dog who was only in the house once in his 3 years of life. He doesn’t seem too sure about this whole bed situation!
11:30pm I cover up River’s cage as he’s growling at everybody. New broken leg kitty thinks that kennel rest sucks. GIVE ME FREEDOM!!
11:40pm Puff and Poppy romp and play all over the bed. Rocky watches with curiosity.
11:50pm Selma is a spider cat. She likes it up high.
Spider cat, spider cat…grumpy neighborhood spider cat, she can purr, she can growl, she can climb, yes she can. Look out! I’m all out of words…
12:00am Rocky goes to the other side of the room. I think he’s scared of the cats. He won’t come on the bed when they’re on it.
2:55am Puff enjoys nibbling on my fingers.
3:00am Puff distracts herself momentarily by gnawing on the fingers of the dummy hand. I am grateful for the reprieve.
3:50am Broken leg cat (I swear I will come up with a better name than that!) is trying to get out of his cage. He knocks down his food dish and I am showered with kibble.
6:30am New intake meows.
6:45am Still meowing. I let him out of his cage. I get up to go pee and Rocky acts so excited to see me like I disappeared all night and magically reappeared. He slept on the other side of the desk all night. That’s the great thing about dogs. Every time you reappear in their lives, whether you go to work, go on vacation, or go to sleep in the same room and they forget you are there, they are genuinely excited to see you when you return!
6:54am Gremlin meows. New intake growls. Puff gnaws on toes. What’s with this cat?!
7:00am Puff and Poppy are running up and down the bed chasing each other. Like the Kentucky Derby, or Nascar, or…really fast spazzy cats.
7:15am Rocky barks and barks. It sounds like he’s far away but turns out he’s just in the bathroom.
7:17am I put Rocky back in his kennel so he can go out the dog door and pee. Maybe he was barking in the bathroom out of frustration because he couldn’t figure out how to use the toilet.
7:19am The dogs sound the morning alarm.
8:00am The dogs snooze alarm feature kicks in. At least I had 40 minutes in between alarms!
8:10am Crawl out of bed like I’m 100 years old. Oh my hip, oh my back! Oh my knee!
8:20am Feed the dogs. Put cats away. Can’t seem to locate the new intake. He is a really good hider, though he is probably watching me as I crawl around on the floor looking for him under things.
8:50am Three cats are dropped off while I have a mild panic attack on trying to figure out where to put them all. I put them into the pink cage temporarily while I relocate Puff into a communal and put them in her condo for now. The lady who dropped them off said they like to stick close together since they are sisters.
They are not impressed by their new living situation. Nothing like a little blood bath in the morning!
We are now at capacity for cats again! That didn’t take long!
This is the part where I let you in on a little secret. Last night I received a phone call with the news of an extremely generous anonymous donation of $2000 which put me well over my fundraising goal. I could have technically slept in my own bed last night, but part of me didn’t want to go home. Maybe I’m a sucker for punishment? But there were still some more snuggles to be had, fingers to be chewed, face to be slobbered on, and love to be shared. The shelter really does become my home away from home during these sleepovers, and whenever I am there volunteering or visiting the animals.
As it sits right now, the Fundraising Total is $6155 with more donations rolling in.
I am incredibly grateful for the support that this fundraiser has received. It started 3 years ago as a silly little idea but the amount of support that has grown each year has been overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who has donated, shared blog posts and words of encouragement, and made sure I had everything I needed to be comfortable during my stay at the shelter.
There would be no Humane Society if it weren’t for the hard work of our volunteers. A huge thank you to the volunteers who take care of these animals day in and day out. Volunteering is a labor of love and it takes a huge heart and a lot of work to care for every animal that comes through our doors. Your efforts really do make a difference in the lives of these animals, and in the families that eventually adopt them.
Of course I can’t go without saying thank you to the animals that I shared my bed with. You taught me valuable life lessons, like how to hold my bladder, how to sleep like a pretzel as to not disturb your slumber, and how to howl from the depths of my soul, but most importantly are the lessons on unconditional love and acceptance. The constant content purrs and wagging tails make the lack of sleep worth while.
9:10am Give the dogs and cats a treat before I go.
There’s no place like home for the holidays, but even if some animals don’t find their forever homes before then, we will do our best to make them feel safe, happy, comfortable and at home right where they are…
Because HOME is where the LOVE is.