51 Cats Story (Part 3, Page 5)

Volunteer Life

For those care givers who will work closely every day with the special-needs cats, the sanctuary might seem like a remote cat sanitarium or loving retirement home. (These nurses of abandoned kitties are the unsung heros.) Those who are volunteering their artistic ability, might see the building as an ever-growing gallery of sandstone (These are the mood setters, the gifted sculptors of beauty and joy.) Those with a scientific perspective might view the facility as a rich research environment. (These are the thinkers, challengers and “evolvers”, my kind.) But, to anyone with a generous servant’s heart, who is willing to toil daily in support of all, I pray that this special place might come to feel like home, and everyone in it, family. (These people are the foundation, the true strength.) It’s hard to describe to someone exactly what life at the sanctuary will eventually be like, except to say that it will be what you make of it. We each bring a little something.

Because of being located somewhere off-grid in the American Southwest, this cat sanctuary facility (along with its solar energy systems, food plants and possibly chickens) might feel more like an isolated ranch or farm in the middle of the desert. Some people will love it there. Some will hate it. I know that the thought of living off-grid makes some folks uncomfortable, but I can assure you, the cats won’t mind it at all, and neither will we. We have that early-pioneer spirit – and electricity. For those who are like us, leaving the rat-race behind, spending their evenings, cat in lap, listening to a softly strumming guitar while viewing a peaceful southwest sunset, could be just what the doctor ordered. With no rush for profit, life there could proceed at a more reasonable pace. Work days will be shorter to provide ample leisure time for visiting with the cats.

All volunteers should be people who care about cats, or at the very least, are patient and careful when moving among them. Eventually, having volunteers with one or more of the following skills/gifts would be very helpful:

  • Veterinarians or Vet Technicians (would be nice, but not likely)
  • Handyman Skills (by that, I mean handy-person)
  • Gardening Skills (food plants and flowers)
  • Cooking Skills (food preparation and preservation)
  • Creative Skills (artists, designers, inventors)
  • Chicken People (by that, I mean people who know how to raise chickens for food)
  • People who can play a musical instrument

For those volunteers who stay for the long term, it would be nice to have medical and dental insurance for them, but I don’t know very much about that yet.


Well — there it is. You now have a fairly good introductory idea of what my sanctuary concept entails. Some might think it’s stupid and a waste of time, but I think it sounds wonderful. I would be very content to live there and continue to make it a bigger and better place until the end of my days.

Because of the litigious and money-centric nature of our society, it may become necessary to turn this sanctuary into a nonprofit corporation right away, or in the near future. If I had my own financial resources now, I’d start small and avoid incorporating for as long as I could to give myself time to develop a working proof-of-concept without the hindrance of government and the pressure to meet the IRS 5-year advance ruling deadline. However, since I have nothing, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I have to do something soon. I hope there are people out there who will believe in us and what we are trying to do and are willing to get involved. – Thank you for your time.

NOTE: People have hinted that I am being totally unrealistic about these cats. They’ve insisted that we don’t need to live under such a burden. It has been suggested more than once that we should give them all to shelters or just take them out back and shoot them. To anyone who does not believe in what we are working toward, I would like to say “Please save your breath. I will not listen.” Any cats who come under my care, become my responsibility. This I feel in my heart and always will. As their guardian, I feel guided to create a special place, a home where these cats and others with even greater need can live healthy and loved, a facility that will eventually run with little dependence on money, a sanctuary that, during difficult times, can still function efficiently with few volunteers. If you, the reader, feel guided to help us in some way to achieve this, I would welcome your help gratefully. But if all you have to offer are words of discouragement, then I would ask that you please remain silent and not attempt to rob me of my strength.

Continue on to: The Open Social-Networking Sanctuary Project

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