You could be forgiven for not spotting it. Just outside the City Centre, in a residential street, a large house has had its rooms converted into 'cat rooms'. Helping cats and kittens since 1897 the shelter is maintained purely by donations.
|The Sheffield Cats Shelter - Travis Place|
The hard working, dedicated staff have a strict cleaning, feeding and medication routine and its the cleaning part where we, and other volunteers, come in.
Today we were there for around 9:30am. The staff go around emptying all the litter trays from the numerous rooms, and so our first job was washing the rather large pile of trays. We make use of big catering style sinks. I scrub the trays clean with a solution of water and washing powder, Libby rinses them in cold water to remove the washing powder and then puts them into a solution of disinfectant. Trays are then left to drain, making sure each one has at least ten minutes for the disinfectant to do its work. Later someone will add litter and distribute them back around the shelter. There are a lot of cats, which means there are a lot of trays.
At 10:00am, the staff and volunteers are allocated rooms to clean. Libby and I were asked to see to 'Holding'. This is one of the area's cats can go when they are first brought into the shelter. They won't go into the main 'adoption rooms' until they are ready for meeting potential 'parents'.
This is a small room with cats kept separate, in contrast to the adoption rooms, where a number of cats will share the room.
Each animal is taken out of their section, unless they are very scared, in which case we clean around them. The cat gets to stretch its legs in the main area while we brush out any debris, disinfect, change toys, bedding and water bowls. Each section is given ten minutes for the disinfectant to work. While we wait, we can make a fuss of the occupant :)
|Libby brushing out a compartment|
We also need to clean and disinfect all the toys and water bowls from the upstairs rooms and clean the small kitchen area which joins Holding with Maternity. Each room has its own equipment and when the cleaning is finished this also gets ten minutes being disinfected.
|Rex and Sasha|
|3 pairs of eyes and ears!|
I really enjoy working at the Shelter and I look forward to showing you more of the cats I meet each week.