29 days

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart. ~Elizabeth Andrew

One of the most important things in my life over the past year has been volunteering at the animal shelter. I originally signed up to do it when I moved to Denver, knowing I needed something to keep me busy and to make me feel like I was doing some good in the world.

It’s really done wonders for me. For three hours, sometimes more, every Saturday I go and just disappear into another world. During that time, all I think about are the cats. While giving back to the community and assisting a cause so close to my heart, I forget about anything else going on.

But, lately, I have to confess. I’ve been really terrible about going in. I’ve called in sick more over the past month or two than I’ve gone in. And I feel horrible about it, because I know they need the help. I have just been exhausted. I work long hours during the week away from home now and it’s rare to get a good chunk of time to myself to spend with my own cats (I know, sounds ridiculous, but they need attention, too).

Then, I stumbled across that quote above. Who does have the time to volunteer? Everyone is wrapped up in busy jobs or families or their own pets or what not. My excuse is not a unique one; it’s pretty lame. And I feel incredibly guilty. I don’t want to stop helping. (Especially after last night, I watched a few episodes of Cats 101. I just love cats.) But, I’m not helping anyone by not showing up, either.

This is something I really need to put a lot of thought into and do something about soon. Whether I just re-motivate myself to consistently make my Saturday shift, or I take a leave of absence, or I take on a new shift.

I do miss seeing the kittens, though, when I miss a week. There is nothing like going into a cat colony filled with kittens, and having the cute fur balls hop all around and climb up my leg. It’s moments like that where I don’t think being a crazy old cat lady would be so bad :).

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