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    • 02 Apr, 2019

    Volunteer blog: Volunteering is the cat’s pajamas

    This blog was written by cattery volunteer Peter East.

    The staff at Mayhew are so dedicated and passionate about the animals and they make you feel very valid as a volunteer. It’s a pleasure being part of the team.

    I have been around cats nearly all my life… My parents always had cats and now I have two rescues myself – Tammy and Triby. About seven years ago, I decided to volunteer at Mayhew and have been spending time in the cattery ever since.

    My role in the cattery is to socialise with the cats.  Every cat has a different personality and I usually start off by sitting in the cabin with them and talking to them. This encourages them to come over to me – it takes practice but it usually works. They have to interact on their own terms! I also practice singing to the cats. I think they like it and I’ve had no complaints so far…

    volunteering with cats

    Pete and Trixie

    The cats find their way to Mayhew for many different reasons. Some are strays, some have been abandoned, some have sadly lost their owners and it has turned their world upside down.  A lot of them are understandably very shy and frightened. One of my favourite cats that I’ve spent time with is a cat named Trixie.  I spent 10 months with Trixie, encouraging her to come out of her shell. Every time I came to the cattery the staff would say ‘here comes your dad’! She was very timid but gradually by giving her lots of encouragement, I was able to gain her trust. She became more confident and then managed to find a wonderful new home to go to. Some cats get rehomed quickly whereas others take longer but eventually they do find a new family. Watching the cats go to their forever homes is very uplifting and rewarding.

    volunteering with animals

    “Pete is particularly good at helping some of our shyer cats come out of their shells and helping them gain confidence.”

    Kayleigh Kilcommons

    Head of cattery

    Our head of cattery, Kayleigh, told us “Pete kindly gives up his time twice a week to volunteer on the cattery as a cat socialiser. This role involves him interacting with the cats making sure they have company and providing them with enrichment during their stay until they find their new homes. One of Pete’s other passions is singing and you’ll often find a very content cat curled up on his lap while he’s quietly singing along to the classical music station we have on in the cattery.”

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