Contrary to prior belief (and my straight-up naivety), I recently learned that volunteering with the RSPCA isn’t actually all about cuddling cute puppies and kittens.
Pause for shock / horror / disbelief – ok, judgement.
Jokes aside, the work these guys do to rescue and care for injured or neglected animals in incredible, and the team works tirelessly to campaign for the prevention of animal cruelty, nationwide.
And the Savoo crew – made up of Adam, Letizia, Luke and Marion (pictured below) – witnessed this passion and dedication first hand when they spent the day with the amazing team at the RSPCA Southall Cattery.
The lovely Marion gives us an account of their day.
In time-honoured British tradition, shortly before we arrived at Southall cattery it started to rain cats and dogs – London weather at its best – and it didn’t stop for the first hour. Fortunately we were prepared for the inevitable and had dressed appropriately, so un-phased by the weather we headed on over to the Cattery to meet Gil – our appointed tour guide and educator for the day.
Gil explained that most of the cats come here after they have been in hospital for injuries sustained through neglect and mistreatment. We heard some shocking stories, such as cats being thrown out of windows and off of balconies, and one about a cat which was run over by a car and then attacked by a fox. Although these stories are disturbing, the good news is that all the cats in this cattery survived and will hopefully get caring new owners, and that’s all thanks to the work of the RSPCA and the kind people who donate and support the charity.
Once Gil had given us a bit of background, it was straight to work. Our first task which was to clean the gutters on-site and a slimy mixture of leaves, water and things-we-might-not-want-to-know-about awaited us. It was actually pretty strenuous work for us desk-dwellers and by lunchtime we were ravenous.
After a quick bite, it was on to cleaning the outdoor cages whilst our feline friends looked on disapprovingly from inside. Perhaps their distaste was down to the fact that we were disturbing the terrifyingly large spiders they were planning to play with later on.
After braving the arachnids, we were given the opportunity to visit the maternity wing and see dozens of cute kittens. I spotted a black mother cat had one red kitten amongst her black litter and discovered that this kitten had lost its mother, so the mother cat had ‘adopted’ it. It was a truly touching moment.
But the staff at the RSPCA can’t afford to stand around, and it was on to our next task – cleaning the windows inside the cat cages. This time we stood with the cats who watched curiously on; some were shy and just stood there transfixed, while others were trying to get our attention. We had to open the doors very carefully so as not to let any of the residents loose, but one cat got the better of us and escaped between Adam’s legs! Luckily we were in a locked aisle so after a couple of minutes we had the ‘Houdini of the feline world’ back again.
Before our volunteering day was over we helped prepare new homes for the charity’s new residents – due to arrive within the next few days. It was a nice way to end our time with the RSPCA and it felt great to know that we’d contributed at least a little to the well-being of dozens of cats, as well as shown our support to the fantastic RSPCA Cattery staff.
Good job guys – you’ve earned that nap.
If you can spare a moment to volunteer with the RSPCA, we wholeheartedly recommend it. And there are other ways to show your support. When you next shop online, do it through Savoo and we’ll donate on your behalf. Just don’t forget to select the RSPCA as your chosen charity.