Matt does a fantastic job of finding wonderful new homes for all of our feline residents, and so far this year more than 125 cats and kittens have headed off to new families. We found out more about his varied and fulfilling role.
I process applications and interview potential adopters, as well as offering advice, support and guidance to help people pre- and post-adoption on cat-related queries. I try and spend time socialising with our cats and take photos for their profiles on our website. When I interview people who are looking to rehome, I need to assess their ability to look after a cat and provide them with a happy home – you need to put emotion aside.
“For me, the best part of the job is when someone wants that older cat who no one else wants.”
Cats have always been part of my life and I can even remember when I was around four sleeping curled up on the sofa with Dusty, our first family cat. I’ve had eight cats, including three adopted from Mayhew. I always wanted to work with animals but only had the chance later in life when I became a seasonal zookeeper. When the role at Mayhew came up I seemed a good fit, and I think my degree in journalism and creative writing helped me as I was happy chatting with people and writing cat profiles for the website.
For me, the best part of the job is when someone wants that older cat who no one else wants. The least favourite part is having to tell people they are not suitable; however, mostly that involves helping them realise what a cat truly needs, as some people think all cats are the same and just need food and a lap to sit on.
Find out what you’re interested in and try to get involved as young as possible. So many people want to work with animals and it’s very competitive, but if you’re helping an organisation you believe in, people will see you are dedicated to the cause. It’s important to realise that in an animal charity not all roles involve you working directly with animals. Even as Cat Adoption Officer I deal mostly with humans, so communication and rapport with people is key.
Definitely! There was three-legged Lavender, who was returned to us once and then found a home with a lovely older couple. Sadly, four years later they both passed away and she was back with us again. It was third time lucky, however, and she found a home with friends of one of our vets.
There was also Aslan, a Norwegian forest cat who was abandoned in our reception and was grumpy with everyone except me, so at first I was the only one who could handle him!
Other memorable residents were Jemima Puddleduck, with her duck-like miaow and wonky leg, and Stoney, a big classic tabby-and-white tom who was a bruiser nobody wanted. He needed a home out of the city and was with us for ages until we finally found him his country pile.
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