Volunteering: A Painful Requirement

Volunteering. We all have to do it. We all have to suffer through being good citizens and helping out our community. Yes, it is quite torturous to be helpful.

I have an incredible difficulty volunteering. I almost cannot handle it. I almost cannot bear to walk into that building and provide my community with some extra help. It is rather painful at times, seeing all the help I have provided and watching a community get together to help in the same ways. Maybe this difficulty is just my own.

From a dog lover to a cat person?

What exactly do I do that is so horrific?

I walk into a room with several eyes staring back at me. They range from gold to gray to green, and they range in personalities from scared, to desolate, to excited and in rare cases, content. Their fur is in several shades, gray being the most painful for me to handle. It is a bittersweet time I spend there, all of these furry creatures begging for attention, hoping someone will release them from their cages.

This job is painful, because I have a hard time resisting keeping one of them, or many of them, and if I was allowed to even have one, I might strive for all of them.

I blame the school for getting me involved in volunteering. It is a dangerous cycle they have set me up to endure. About ten more hours and I will be done, but oh no, it will not stop there. I don’t think I could handle leaving those poor creatures after I’ve spent so many hours giving them my time and care. Penn Manor, I blame you for making me want a cat. I am a dog person, so why am I so enthralled in the feline species now?

I tried to get into the dog building of the shelter, but the only opportunity was with cats, and I had to start working on my time. I certainly wasn’t going to go help people anywhere, so this was my only option. With a heavy decision, I wound up right in the middle of cat central. Right where my dogs believe I am betraying them. Do not worry, the dogs are all still my favorites, I’m not hesitant to admit favoritism.

However, I am not exactly in the position to say I don’t like the cats either. I have fallen in love with many of them over my several visits there. Luckily, I can find some peace in the idea that almost all of them are new every other week that I venture into the shelter.

There isn’t just the idea that I am now finding myself enjoying the presence of cats. There are some cats that have tried to injure me. Shouldn’t I get the rest of my volunteer hours for free from having my arms clawed off on several occasions? One such case was a hyperactive kitty that was dropped off on the note of “being too hyper” and that his other feline friend didn’t like the activity level of him. So what do I do? I open the cage to the pacing cat that is so desperately wanting out, and he tries to lunge away.

Remember, I still don’t know how to handle cats the best, which is why I should be sticking with mellow ones.

This occasion, however, we were fine. I took him to one of the exercise rooms, and played with him for a little while, but I knew I couldn’t hog the room forever, and he wasn’t ever going to quit. So, I brought him back out, and dropped him off in his cage again.

Later, however, hyperactive kitty was back for revenge. He was trying to escape while someone was trying to clean his cage, so I volunteered to hold him while they did that. This time, he got my arm, he flung his water all over the place, and he continued to try to escape my grasp. Maybe he remembered I was the evil person who stuck him back in his cage when he was having oh-so-much fun. No worries, no cats were harmed in the making of this story, just the author.

I didn’t hold a grudge with him. I suppose I might flail about if I only had to take out a weak teenager for my freedom. If I wasn’t wearing a sweater, he very well might have gotten his way. I only got one battle scar that day, however.

I’m still wishing for my free volunteer hours, however, so if there is any pity for me, I am open for it.

By Samantha St.Clair

2 thoughts on “Volunteering: A Painful Requirement”

  1. I volunteered at a retirement community for several hours over the summer and dang some of those people are crazy! Some smell bad too!

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