Volunteering Is Good For Your Soul

This is such a hard post for me to write without crying through it. I miss my fur babies very much. I have had a cat as a pet for as long as I can remember and as an adult I have encountered heartbreak from their deaths. Pet owners everywhere have encountered this heartbreak at some point in their lives. Once the grieving process ends, most people with either adopt a new animal or have another one at home to fill the space left by the pet who passed. 

The most recent pet death happened six months ago when my beautiful Roxy Cat died in my arms. I feel incredibly guilty about her death; but friends and family assure me it wasn’t my fault. A few months before Roxy passed her sister Sassy went missing and in her case curiosity got the best of her and she took off after a mouse or snake in the empty field behind our house and never came back. 

Roxy was heart-broken. She meowed all the time and only wanted to sit on our laps. Our lives were very busy at that time and we were getting ready to move; so paying attention to Roxy wasn’t our first priority. Once we moved it was a traumatic event for Roxy as I took her to my parents house for a week while we got settled and then a few weeks later we took a short trip to Disneyland. When we got back, my sister-in-law told me that Roxy seemed depressed and didn’t eat much while we were gone. 

Roxy Cat - Last Days
The next few months she seemed to be getting worse. She barely ate and her energy level was low; thus she rapidly lost weight and I took her to the vet. It was a horrible experience, I didn’t have enough money to pay for the tests they wanted to do. They agreed to do some blood work to try to figure out what was wrong with her. In the end they determined that she was in kidney failure and if she had surgery her road to recovery would be long and expensive. They were kind enough to give her an IV and try to get fluids in her. But within a few days she deteriorated so much. She refused to eat her favorite dish of tuna.

One night as I sat with her on my lap she looked right at me, it was like she was looking deep into my eyes.  She moved her paw to my arm and laid her head back a little bit and took one last breath.  That was it.

I cried for many days, I felt guilty that I didn’t do enough to save her.  I still feel guilty today.  But after a few weeks, when Christmas had come and gone I knew it was time to start healing.  I hadn’t petted an animal in over a month and I think I was pretty darn depressed about it.

I decided that I wanted to volunteer at a local pet shelter.  So as luck would have it my daughter needed to fulfill her community service hours for her school.  I picked a pet shelter near her school called Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary.
At first I was overcome by emotion and didn’t want to get out of the car, but I knew these kitties needed someone to play with and someone to pet them.  Finally petting a cat for the first time in over a month made my heart skip a beat and my heart feel warm.  I had certainly missed the clamming effect that petting a cat brought me.

Volunteering at a local cat shelter - Happy Tails in Sacramento
My daughter and I visited the many different kitty rooms and socialized with the cats.  While visiting one of the workers had mentioned that the cats liked a certain toy that someone had handmade but they were falling apart and needed new ones.
So my daughter and I made a bunch of toys and brought them to the kitties and they loved them.  I really feel that by going to Happy Tails it helped me with the healing process of dealing with Roxy’s death.

The Cats of Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary




About Dawn

Dawn is a social influencer and has been writing about her nerdy side since 2004. She enjoys writing about Entertainment, Travel, Disney, Star Wars and life with two little girls. Her advice is to keep on dreaming, do what you love and life will lead you a path to your happiness. Dawn also writes for 5 Minutes for Mom.

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