Saturday, 6 October 2012

Marching Band

I knew it had been a while since I last updated the blog, but hadn't realised just how long. I've had times when I've thought about writing but then, when I've reflected on the week that we've had, it has not made for good reading. So then I've left it another week, hoping that there would better days to share, and then two weeks became three, then four, as we've limped our way though some truly difficult times.

Roscoe enjoying a bedding sample, one of 100 donated by The Fine Bedding Company this week.
Alas this week has not ameliorated the bad times, instead it has just greased up some more! We have a third of the branch staff off sick, we've had 26 new cat and kitten admissions from all manner of rescues and abandonments and we are now dealing with the third cattery shut down in two months. It feels like we've limped and lurched from one troubled day to another and lost some beautiful souls along the way.

Harley dog was returned after 4 years following a house fire and owners moving into temporary accommodation. He really loved his walk in the woods.
This to me seems to be the reality of animal rescue work. I listen to colleagues who run other branches, and half the time find myself thinking how lucky we are, because we don't have it so bad after all. But then we don't have an animal centre, so things don't get so magnified as such. Our scale of operations is decidedly small but it doesn't stop us achieving big things.

We've had another tremendously successful month with animal adoptions with 35 finding new homes in September. In total this year we have found homes for 297 animals. That's more than one animal a day and 105 more on the same period last year. This really is quite incredible when you come to think that we are a 3 man team overseeing the care and rehoming of some 70+ animals.  I think it also means that we feel the bad times just that little bit more because of the fact that we don't work in specific areas, but across all species. Whilst as individuals we may have a leaning to one species, mine being rabbits, we still all care about them equally and fall for their charms and delights each and every time.

But we are not alone in feeling the undulations of our work; we get share to it with our amazing volunteers and supporters who standby us through thick and thin and turn our 3-man-band into a great big noisey marching band! Next weekend will undoubtedly prove to be a brilliant example of how amazing they really are, as we hold our second Purrfect Party at the Worsley Court House. The event is a sell out thanks to them all and as such has already raised £500 for the animals, but more importantly it will be a great chance to enjoy ourselves together, so bring it on!

Sinbad the baby bunny having a cheeky sneak of milk from his mum.
But there were some great moments of joy during our really bad day yesterday, when we learnt we had to close the cattery, again. For example, at one point we were discussing our favourite rabbits when a staff member, least endeared to them, reeled off a ridiculously long list of 'favourites'. This made me react with a kind of fly-on-the-wall type inner smile and pride. Later, when discussing risk assessment with a pregnant staff member she fought me on all my attempts to modify her work, such was her determination to stay directly involved with the furries. She ended up leaving my office armed with disposable aprons and gloves and alco-gel and a happy smile on her face. And a day doesn't go by when you find yourself smiling, in response to a furry critter or an act of kindness by a supporter. Yesterday was no exception: we played with a mum and her 4 kittens that have temporarily taken up home in the office, and we received a lovely email that contained a video of one our adopted rabbits enjoying her new home.

Ruth suffered unimaginable cruelty yet her desire for human contact is insatiable.
You don't realise it sometimes but it's these moments that bring such welcome relief and are typical of the reflections of happiness we see each and every day. And they are probably the very reason why we keep coming back to work every morning. The pictures in this blog are examples of these very moments that capture our hearts and minds when we are least expecting it. I hope you enjoy them too.