Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reason #156 to Volunteer at Your Local Shelter: Cute Guys Playing with Cats

I've been taking some volunteer training courses at my local (Richmond) SPCA. Today, one of those courses was "Cat Handling," which is a prerequisite for a particular shelter function that involves cleaning the cages ("cat condos") of the felines who are not housed in one of two cat common rooms. (In other words, training for how to read cat body language, and hopefully, interact peacefully with the cats, whose individual cages you will be sticking your face and arms into to clean.)

Important note: Because the aforementioned cats have already been deemed adoptable (aka someone's future awesome pet) by the shelter's behavioral/health experts, there is no risk of them going Ninja on anyone, it's just that - same as with dogs - one needs to approach a cat with care, especially a cat who's caged in a shelter environment, as the cat might be fearful and could become physically defensive. 

So anyway...where was I?

Oh, yes! The cat handling class. :)

Okay, wait a minute. I need to tell you something else...just to make myself feel better about publishing this goofy post...I think.

I got choked up in the middle of the cat handling class.

Yep, I looked over and locked eyes with a cat who looked exactly like my (long gone) beloved heart-cat, Buster (about whom I've never written before, because I don't have the vocabulary or skills to do him justice with words). And while my fear of public humiliation dammed the salty river brewing in my eye sockets for the duration of class, there was no holding it back once I got into my car.

Yes, it was a wet ride home. 

I tell you this NOT because I desire your pity (truly), but because in my struggle to divert my thoughts from my dearly departed cat (so my eyes wouldn't swell up and bug out, to the dismay of my family), the only diversions I could think of (in the car) were the precious (and cute) men who showed up to take the same cat handling class!

Image Source
No idea who this is, but apparently, because this captioned photo already exists on the Internet,
I am not the only one who appreciates the qualities of a man who practices kitty PDA. 

And there you have it.

If you have been on the fence about getting out and helping at your local shelter, and you aren't opposed to seeing a few men (who are not only compassionate and kind to animals, but are self-assured enough to be seen attending a training class with a bunch of crazy cat ladies, scooping litter boxes and making baby talk to a bunch of felines)... 


Go forth, volunteer, and enjoy the scenery (animal and human) at your local shelter today!


P.S. Men readers, just so you know, crazy cat ladies make nice scenery, too.

P.P.S. (added 4/14/13) Want to see a bunch more guys with cats (and perhaps find a sweet kitty of your own to adopt)?! Head over to Petfinder, whose "I Am a Cat Parent" campaign (to shine light on cats as AWESOME pets) is in full swing!

"Heck yeah, I'm a cat guy!"


  1. I'm heading over to your shelter right now! Okay, j/k...I do have to admit, we have some wonderful men involved with our rescue, too. None looking quite like the image you've provided here, though! And hey - I'm thrilled to see I'm not the only one in the word using the word cockamamie!

    Wonder how many times this post's image will be pinned...

  2. Maybe Maddox would like some sweet corgi brothers?? Cute post . .I don't remember many men at my shelter . .I may have to give it another look :)

  3. Maybe this is a sign that you need another cat -- and an assistant to go with it!

  4. Wow. He's a little young for me, but HUBBA HUBBA! :)

  5. Would it be too much to ask that rescues post a few more pictures of their volunteers online (especially if they looked like that!)? I am happily married (he is at the moment making breakfast, so very happy) but a couple of shots of cute guys (or gals) next to even cuter pets can't hurt ;-)


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