Animal Lovers Find New Ways to Care for Feral Cats

Photo Credit by Douglas Woods, “Midge cat and computer” via Flickr/ (CC BY 4.0)

What would you do if you were a whiz on the computer, a political commentator, and believed that the treatment of feral cats could be improved by providing innovative treatments and educating the globe about the cats’ plight? One option would be to design a life and career like Shelly Roche.

For June, “Adopt a Cat” month, we’re celebrating Tiny Kittens. Not just the little poofs of fluff that attack toes and strings with abandon, but the volunteer-run organization, TinyKittens Society (tinykittens.com). Founder Shelly Roche and her team of volunteers are constantly experimenting with humane and compassionate treatment of feral cats in British Columbia, Canada. Many other organizations practice trap, neuter, and release as the gold standard in humane treatment. If injured cats can’t survive on their own, they would be euthanized. The most healthy kittens would be deemed adoptable, but kittens with any birth defects or if their mamas are sick or injured, they would all be euthanized. The goal is to prevent suffering, but animal lovers everywhere struggle with this dilemma.

Roche devised something different. Picture a clinic with a kitten nursery and a surgical suite staffed by volunteers, where feral cats are examined and treated, sometimes tube-fed, sometimes given wheelchairs. Each cat is assessed to determine where they would be happiest and healthiest — either adopted by humans or in their original forest homes.

The people attracted to tinykittens.com, either as volunteers or as viewers of their adorable livestream on YouTube, obviously take delight in all the cuteness and the compassionate care the kitties receive. But there’s a larger lesson to learn from all of this. Meaningful work that you love doesn’t have to be your day job. Like Roche, you don’t have to become a vet or a zoologist to work with animals. You could also pursue work that gives you the resources and the time to bottle-feed, play with, and nurture whatever makes your heart sing.

What is your tinykittens.com? What makes your heart sing? How can you do that thing? You can start with a 7-day free trial of My Career Design Studio and figure out how to build a life you love while doing work you enjoy. Then, share that joy with the world!

And while you’re working on designing your own life, spend some time at tinykittens.com. Research shows that kitten videos make you more productive and happier (no, really!). Fair warning: watching tiny kittens online often leads to tiny kittens in your house. But it is June, after all. How else would you spend National Cat Adoption Month?

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