I repeat, differently: If you are allergic to cats do not volunteer with them.
En espanol: No voluntario con los gatos si usted alergico a ellos.
Obvious? You’d think so, but I had occasion to test this. Here’s what happened…
I set up a volunteer activity with one of the most helpful* volunteer groups of all time - Heaven on Earth Animal Sanctuary. They have a small house in Van Nuys, which they've turned into a cat sanctuary. No, they're not hoarding. Yes, they have about a hundred cats. Sure, it's a little cramped in such a small house. But they keep it clean. As possible. Okay look - SOMEONE BUILD THEM A NEW HOUSE PLEASE!!!
Anywho – So I’m suppose to be a volunteering muse of sorts and introduce people to the joys of volunteering. My friend Mercedes aka super hot Venezuelan/American Actress/Model asked me if she could tag along on an adventure. I’m like, "Hell yeah! Can I take pictures?"
I call Heaven on Earth and arrange a day to come out and help them. On said day Mercedes and I show up dressed to work, step into the house, and her sinuses explode. Everywhere. Within minutes. The first major symptom was her gorgeous bikini calendar eyes get watery. Now the house is fragrant but still. Minutes later she’s sniffing. By the time we get to the orientation, which only lasts 5 minutes, she sounds like she has the flu. Finally, while getting the brief tour of all the rooms I turn to her,
“’Cedes are you having an allergic reaction to the cats?”
“I guess so! I didn’t think I was allergic! I’ve been around cats before.”
Holy Hell! We have 3 more hours in a 100 cat 2 bedroom. WTF. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not Mercedes fault, but at this point I’m screwed. Unlike other times I volunteer I actually gave them a heads up that I was coming and asked if I could film. How am I suppose to film when my super hot Venezuelan model eye candy is about to combust?
Luckily, Mercedes is a good sport and more tenacious than she appears. Some quick maneuvering and she and I were cleaning cat cages outside. Not as bad as it sounds. We just didn’t get to play with the cats... AND I didn't get Mercedes being supermodel like pics. Will have to deal with Mercedes looking ridiculously good in glasses and sweats. (Hate her. Secretly. So jealous.)
Afterwards I treated Mercedes to a half gallon of gelato from Pazzo and watched her perk right up.
The morals of this story 1) check allergies and even just comfort level of volunteers before you plunge them into a house full of cats... or anything... I mean even tree planting... people can be afraid of trees. 2) Heaven on Earth rocks because they are a no kill shelter that houses older cats. 3) Always be prepared to bribe with ungodly amounts of gelato.
Also I did film a bit. Will work on posting that.
*By helpful I mean they have bailed my butt out of cat jail more than a few times now. They have never said, "No we can't help you." No other shelter can say that. None. I don't think they know how to say no. Thank God.