Dear Cat Lovers,
I’m not going to mention the passage of time this month, and how fast it seems to go, but….here we are again.
Somebody recently gave me a cure for insomnia, which really seems to work: as you lay down to sleep, you review your day and find something that you accomplished, something that you enjoyed and 3 things to be grateful for. If you wake up in the middle of the night, instead of reviewing your woes and things you’ve done wrong, tell yourself that you have 16 hours a day to work on those things, and that the night time is yours to be free from those worries. Then go to your happy place: imagine the most wonderful place that you can, in as much detail as you can. I add to mine when I wake up in the middle of the night, or sometimes start on another one; I have a lot of fantasy places to go to! What I find, and I’m sure that these exercises are designed to work this way, is that now, as I go through my day, I’m looking for things to bring to my evening reverie: things to be grateful for, mostly, which gives your waking moments a more optimistic slant, too, as well as helping you sleep.
So, because of this, and because we just celebrated a holiday about thanksgiving, I notice how many evenings I find myself being thankful for my volunteers. Seriously! When I started the Crescent City Cat Club, I hoped it would gradually gather people to help, and amazingly, it has. Taking care of nearly 30 cats is a job, let me tell you. I jokingly tell people about the T-shirt that says “Dogs have owners; cats have staff!” and that’s certainly true of our feline guests.
Thankfully, we weren’t open too long before Ashley Brunies came through our door, and offered to help, commenting that she loved cats and that The Cat Club was her idea of heaven. She pretty much came every day and was happy to do anything that moved The Cat Club forward. She is (almost) unfailingly cheerful, and takes my guff with unflappable patience and understanding. She now comes in an hour before we open on Thurs., Fri., Sat., and Sunday, and stays until close. She’s our unofficial bartender at our fundraisers, and was our yoga mistress. She loves the cats, and cannot walk through The Club without acknowledging each one, and giving them a pat, or picking them up and cuddling with them. Because of her, I don’t have to be at The Cat Club every hour that we’re open, and can get out to do the errands that must be done. She’s walked most of the Marigny and Bywater and the French Quarter, dropping our advertisement “rack” cards wherever she goes, and chatting people up on the way. She is enthusiastic in the extreme, and works tirelessly for our success. She is our social media guru and also a great hostess, making everyone feel at home in The Cat Club. I APPRECIATE YOU, ASHLEY!
Not too long after Ashley came, Gwen Parsons McAuliffe made her appearance. She lives only ½ block from The Cat Club, and, for several months, was another regular here. Her specialty is health issues and she was of immense help while we tried to raise 9 bottle babies who came our way. It was due to her dedication and diligence that any of them made it out alive. Kittens born on the ground, who lose their moms in the first few days after birth, have very slim chances of making it to adulthood. Gwen has a huge heart, and gave her all to tend to these little angels, and help them find their toeholds in this plane. Sadly, Gwen has been battling her own medical issues for the last few months, so has been unable to come to The Cat Club. We look forward to having her back, once her challenges have been met. You go, girl!
Meanwhile, Michelle Redler had been coming almost every Sunday to hang out with the cats. She has lived in Japan, where they have a ton of cat cafes, and she visited at least one of them weekly, so it was only natural that she would show up on our doorstep when we opened. She did several “Cat About Town” memberships, meaning she bought several visits at a time, and was here A LOT! Now, as a volunteer, she STILL comes most Sundays, and also several other times during the week. She specializes in socializing the timid, frightened cats who are not initially comfortable in our free-for-all environment. I am certain that she has facilitated the adoption of several less-than-outgoing cats, and in fact, adopted one of our problem children, the beautiful but neurotic Tora. Yay, Michelle!
Michelle’s sister, Hope Redler, was looking for a volunteer opportunity with a cat rescue, and when Michelle encouraged her to come and check us out, she was immediately on board with The Crescent City Cat Club. She has told me that she strongly believes in our mission, and wants to help in any way she can. She does not shirk from helping with the cleaning, which is the most constant thing about this place! She’s here several mornings a week, either before work, or on her days off, maintaining the order and cleanliness of our environment. She just adopted her second cat from us. Cosmo joins Topher at Hope’s haven; he was the 65th cat we have had adopted out from The Cat Club. Yay, Hope!
We have put out several appeals for volunteers in the past, in our newsletters, and just about everything I write. Each time we get a pretty good response: 5 or 6 people send in applications, 4 of those come for orientation, and then, if we’re lucky, 1 or 2 come back more than once or twice. Our most recent search brought us Kim Rogers and Muriel Davisson, who both help with the morning and evening routines. Thankfully, they are both dedicated and dependable, and we are so happy to have them on board, too. They each come a couple of times per week, which is a wonderful thing. It is such a relief to have help doing the stuff that needs to be done, day in and day out. Thank you, Kim and Muriel!
So, now of course, I’m going to ask again for anyone who can give us a few hours a week. We need folks to clean and feed the cats in the mornings and evenings. It takes about an hour each time. And then we can use people who want to just come and hang out with the cats (we call it socializing….sounds kind of official) anytime on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, just to keep them company. We’re closed on those days, and the cats REALLY miss their visitors, especially by Wednesday evening. It’s as if they’re saying, “Where IS everyone?”. If we have enough people, everyone does a little, and no one has to do a lot, and everyone’s happier, including and especially….ME!
BTW, in case you missed the post, The Crescent City Cat Club will be closed December 19 to January 3, so mark your calendars. We will be travelling and visiting relatives over the holiday break. Happy Holidays to everyone!
Also, another important date is Sunday, December 16. We will be having a holiday fundraiser at The Cat Club, 1021 Marigny St., from 7 to 10 PM. The “Shake ‘Em Up Jazz Band”, an all-female ensemble, will be playing, and fun, and fur, will be flying! We will have a raffle (of course) and a no-host bar. The cats are dusting off their tuxes. They LIKE holiday parties!
Ooops! I almost forgot to mention that one of our visitors donated a “One Fast Cat” wheel to us, in honor of her mother, Fran Robertson. You should see Tank, one of our newer and BIGGER cats, run on this thing, which is like a giant hamster wheel. It’s hysterical! Check out our video!
Thanks for supporting us, everyone. We really appreciate it! Don’t forget the 16th!