Dec 01, 2010
I'm a relatively new volunteer at Cat Adoption Team shelter, a no-kill shelter.
My first day of cleaning "rooms" by myself I showed up early to get a head start, give myself plenty of time to do a good job. I started in the largest room, the one with a large wall of glass so all the potential adopters can watch the cats in the free-roam room playing, lounging on the shelves spaced for climbing the walls.
Simple job; check bedding and replace with clean if needed, scoop or change litter, clean water dishes and fill with fresh water/clean food stations, sweep, mop, check it off on list. Clean hands with sanitizer before moving on to next room. No problem, right?
First, in checking to see if they needed fresh bedding: on a top shelf, above my head, the bed I pulled off dumped some poo on me; some bounced off my shoulder, some my foot. The bed was saturated with urine, too. After picking up the poo, I got my cleaning supplies and a short step-stool to clean that top shelf, all the while talking to all the cats milling around, checking out me and my cleaning cart.
I stepped down, apparently right on a cat's tail. This caused a chain reaction with cats leaping, hissing, bouncing off one another, and the cleaning cart...
The cleaning cart that had a gallon pitcher of clean water without a top on it. The water splattered all over me, the cats, the floor, a feeding station, and caused more skittering and panic among the cats. I stood there dripping, looking at the mayhem, cats either glaring at me or trying to hide. I apologized, red-faced to the poor cats, putting down some paper towels, dumping a tray of soggy cat food into the dirty-water bucket.
It didn't help that there were two staff members outside the room going about their business, but not possibly missing the show in the Garden Room.
I went to get the mop, remembering that I needed to put on a fresh mop head and make up mop water. I took the dry mop back to the room and attempted to soak up some of the mess, squeezing it out into the mop bucket, then dumped the water, kitty litter, and cat food out,rinsed the industrial sized mop bucket, and made fresh mop water.
I talked gently to the cats as I cleaned the room, changing wet bedding, sweeping up damp kitty litter, etc.
I doing the final mopping when I noticed a long-haired cat curled up in a small bed with sides on one of the shelves, I went over to pet her, and noticed that she was SOAKED still, trying to dry herself with her tongue with dogged deternination. Can a cat be dogged?
I let her sniff my hand, making sure she'd let me pet her, then got some paper towels and helped dry her off, as well as the little pools of water in the bed.
I left a little sheepishly, wondering if they would all hide the next week when I came to clean their room.