I hope to make a regular feature of some of the volunteers who spend time with the cats – we met Julian in September. When I asked Allison about being part of the series she was at first daunted, and then sat down and wrote pages about her favourite cats. We decided that it was perhaps a little too much, so she decided that what she would do would be to write a poem.
Allison is a regular volunteer at the weekend; she makes spotless water dishes in the front courtyard her particular concern, and she’s a wonderful guide for Sunday afternoon visitors. She has no cats at home – and a non-cat-loving husband – but happily cat-sits for her friends at any possible opportunity.
Allison has a particularly close relationship with Little Orange, in the front courtyard – on a Sunday he waits anxiously for her, and follows her around as she does her chores. Some of it is cupboard love – he’s a big fan of the dried chicken tidbits she brings – but most of it is that he just loves her.
Calista became a special buddy when Allison spent time working in what we call the Yellow Door area, where many of the front courtyard ferals hang out. Allison put hours into working with a shy boy called Marmalade, and in the process, attracted his girlfriend Calista, also a feral. We lost Marmalade a while ago, but Calista has joined the greeting crowd, and also looks for Allison on a Sunday.
The Old Aids rooms also get visited, and a particular favourite there is Kojak. He is also a chickaholic, and his addiction has helped him to become braver and braver in approaching visitors.
In Allison’s own words:
Hi, my name is Allison and I have been coming to the sanctuary for over 3 years now, having become a volunteer about 2 years ago. And yes, I have a special place in my heart for my friend Cathy, a volunteer who introduced me to RAPS!
I absolutely love the sanctuary and all that it represents: the cats, staff, volunteers and all of our visitors. It’s an amazing gathering of cats and people which is different every Sunday.
I am a gal from Richmond who grew up with loving cats,
So when Cathy told me about the sanctuary it was her back that I gave a pat,
Each Sunday when I go I can hardly wait,
To arrive at the sanctuary and open the gate,
The love that the cats show to me,
Makes it worthwhile getting down on one knee,
I do have to tell you I have some favorites too,
Like Little Orange, Calista and Kojak to name a few,
So come to the sanctuary where you will have fun,
We have warm dry places to sit and watch the cats run!
Hope you can come and visit us, and remember, every Sunday is different…….meow!