Welcome, everyone, to my blog The Cat's Whispers! The idea behind this blog is to give you a bit of an insight into the work of our Cats Protection Branch in the Colwyn and District area of North Wales.
I will start by introducing myself - my name is Joy and I started as the Welfare Team Leader for this branch about four to five months ago. The branch itself has been running for over 30 years and I am thrilled to have been able to join them. Before starting with this branch I worked at the Wrexham and District Branch Adoption Centre for two years, where I discovered both my love of the charity and obsession with all things feline... After just 6 weeks I had adopted a little black runt of a kitten with a noticeably inverted ribcage but the heart of a lion. He is my baby and my shadow, currently squeezing himself onto my knee, begrudgingly sharing it with the laptop as I type. I had heard it was danger of the job, not being able to say no, as other staff members had accumulated quite a number themselves over the years but Taran was more than enough for me.
|My beautiful Taran|
I loved my two years at the adoption centre but sadly I could not continue to commute to Wrexham from Rhos-on-Sea each day so looked for another job closer to home. However, before I left the Regional Development Manager, who oversees the running of branches in North Wales and North Midlands, offered me a role with the Colwyn Branch. I was hoping to continue volunteering for Cats Protection in some way and this seemed perfect!
The Colwyn branch is run entirely by volunteers, ranging from committee members who manage different aspects of the branch (co-ordinator, treasurer, welfare, homing, charity shop treasurer, website and social media, neutering assistance), to cat fosterers, home visitors, Trap-Neuter-Return volunteers (working with feral cats), shop assistants, vet practice correspondents, drivers and no doubt there are more!
As a charity we rely on receiving donations from the public during fundraising events, at the time of adoption (the adoption fee only partly covers the treatments they receive whilst in our care), through our shop, which has been open on Madoc Street in Llandudno since April 2013 and as legacies (a gift left in a will).
|Our charity shop on Madoc Street, Llandudno|
We are always on the look out for potential volunteers to join the team, particularly cat fosterers. Cats are fostered in covered outdoor pens containing an enclosed sleeping area. All supplies are provided by the branch and all we ask for is your time and care for our cats while they are waiting to find new permanent homes. If this is something you are interested in then feel free to email me - firstname.lastname@example.org - or find more details in the booklet "Interested in becoming a cat foster carer?" There are many other roles available so if you would like to help in any way you are welcome to email me, with no obligation!
|One of our foster pens in use|
In my role as Welfare Team Leader, I work closely with the fosterers to ensure high welfare standards are upheld across the branch and our cats receive the best care we are able to offer. I also manage a waiting list for cats who need to come into our care so we can find them new homes. As we only have a small number of current fosterers this is necessary to make sure any available spaces are given to the cats in the greatest need at the time, it does not always work in a chronological order. The enquiries I receive are not restricted to the need to rehome but can include a range of issues such as how to integrate a stray cat into the household (providing an owner is not found!), what flea and worming treatments are best to use and what to do about inappropriate toileting habits.
Our next fundraising and publicity event is being held at Pets at Home in Llandudno on the weekend Friday 27th February until Sunday 1st March. We will be hosting a stand with Cats Protection goods for sale, information about volunteering, details of the cats we have available for adoption and lots of freebies for the taking! Please pop down and see us as every little bit of support really does help.
|Pets at Home, Llandudno|
I hope this introduction has provided you with an overview of our branch and what we do. Cats Protection's three aims are Homing, Neutering and Information and I hope to inform about homing and neutering and many more aspects of cat welfare and ownership in posts to come.
Next time: Why adopt from Colwyn Cats Protection?