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How not to clean a room full of cats....

Dec 01, 2010 - 6 comments

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.

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535822 tn?1443976780
by margypops, Dec 01, 2010
awwwwww  I am in admiration that you can see the humor in this ,I had to chortle ...volunteering to help with animals is a wonderful thing to do, well are indeed a cat lover , and a jolly good writer ..  

405614 tn?1329144114
by Fluffysmom, Dec 01, 2010
Well, it did take me several weeks to get around to writing this.  I did tell the story a few times to lots of laughter.  :o)

1493744 tn?1291770227
by Kelly_NH, Dec 01, 2010
As much laughter and smiles as they give us, I suppose its only fair that we give them a chance to howl with laughter at us once in a while ; )

We have two new ten week kittens...additions to a household that already has a geriatric cat and dog, and a very bossy conure. They are way more entertaining than television!

Congrats on the volunteer position Fluffy. I'm sure you'll love it, once you get the last of the poop out of your hair : )

874521 tn?1424116797
by opus88, Dec 01, 2010
I second the congrats Fluffysmom.....takes a huge heart to do what you are doing!! day you'll find that special one to share your home with again too.
Keep up the cleaning, just go easy on the

1461073 tn?1308677548
by crackerjack4u2, Dec 04, 2010
Too funny.  That is a hilarious story, I'm glad you were able to see the humor in your first day of incidents. Thank You for sharing it.  I kept having to start over when I was reading it because my cat was in my lap, rooting me with his head to be rubbed, and milking my leg with his claws. His name is Malcom but we call him Mowl Mowl because when you are not giving him your undivided attention he sits and squalls Mowl Mowl and bites you, which he is doing right at this minute LOL.  Good Luck on your volunteer work.  I'm sure the staff appreciates your help, and the cats too once they got over the shock from day one LOL.    Have A Wonderful Night and God Bless

740516 tn?1360942486
by AppleBr, Dec 07, 2010
Hon,I LOVED this journal - its the funniest thing I ever read those last days!!!
Even better that some very good cartoons I already mentioned
And be sure, my first day would be more catastrophic that ours : when I had only Loreena I was always tripping on her,
- and now I have 3 domestic helpers :-)
I seldon change their water without some spread on the floor...

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