I volunteer at a cat shelter in London every week, which is something I enjoy greatly. From a previous post, you may remember reading about a cat called Samantha – she is now homed! However, the cat shelter has a waiting list of over 300 cats (it’s capacity is around 50), so there’s always more ‘supply’ than demand 😦
I have been volunteering at the shelter for just over 1 month, and already I have seen a remarkable transformation of a very grumpy cat called Thompson into a friendly, confident cat. Initially Thompson would hiss whenever you came near him, and would even swipe at you with his claws. He was very scared, and wouldn’t leave his bed. Luckily there are volunteers who help socialise unfriendly cats. It’s a slow process, but here are a few tricks:
1. Blinking (slowly) – this is cat language for ‘trust me, I’m a friend’
2. Don’t look a fearful cat straight in the eye, as this is perceived as a threat. Instead, turn your face away from the cat to show that you’re not looking at him/her, which is perceived as being friendly.
3. Use a stroker- a tool to stroke a cat that would otherwise scratch you. This takes a lot of patience – Thompson used to hiss in fear at it initially. Eventually, Thomson began to trust people and would accept being stroked by the stroker, and found that he quite enjoyed it! Some cats are very particular about where they like and don’t like being stroked. For example, there is a cat at the shelter called Sunday who’s very fearful. She hates being stroked on her back, but she quite enjoys being stroked under her chin. Every cat is different!
Thompson is now much more friendly- he will come out of his cage, brush himself against your legs and is generally a lot more confident. Fingers crossed that he’ll find a loving home!
What does all this have to do with used stamps? Well, the cat shelter that I volunteer at collects used stamps which it can generate funds from. I would like to ask people (who don’t already collect used stamps to donate to charity) to please save their used stamps for me, so I can pass them on to the cat shelter. You don’t even have to peel them off the envelope- just cut/carefully rip them off the envelope and store them safely. It’s a shame for the stamps to go straight in the bin (or more accurately, to be recycled) after all, when instead they can help charities.