Dirty Job

Too bad Mike Rowe isn’t on the air anymore. My husband loved his show Dirty Jobs and I watched a few but had to close my eyes for a few sequences.

I just thought of the perfect dirty job for him, one I did monthly for six years. Helping to spay/neuter feral cats. Let’s see, he could start with cleaning traps, helping to anesthetize the cats, strapping females to a board (the guys don’t get sewn up). Then “tipping” which is taking a tip off the right ear.

Then he could comb for fleas and change to transport, which takes the sleeping (out cold cat, one hopes) to either a van for ER or hopefully to his/her crate. As a transporter he may find little grains of rice coming out of a cat’s behind and have to go through to surgery and get ER the authority to treat for tapeworms. Pregnant females always have to go in to ER for fluids, and cats that are not breathing well must have acupressure and therefore a constant volunteer.

Breathing is an issue and volunteers built benches so we wouldn’t have to bend down all the time and I created Dee’s Kitty Wake-Up List so Breathers could chart when a cat awakened from anesthesia and was just taking a nap. Years later it’s not called that but they still use a version of it.

When I was volunteering there and there was a cat with a communicable disease (back then I did transport and trained three types of volunteers, transport, breathing and cleaning) they’d say “Call Dee!” Ringworm, mange, whatever. And I did it all without gloves. My training session is even on tape at SFSPCA. My co-star is Snowflake the Wonder Kitty which was a white bean bag cat with a tipped ear, of course, that had about as much muscle control as one of our anesthetized cats. I demonstrated transport and carefully placing a cat back into its trap or carrier.

Mike, if you’re reading, I was told to get naked in my garage and take a shower before touching my dog and two cats. Problem is I had a carport back then. Sorry you couldn’t get to do this one. Maybe as a special?

I used to dread going to this at a different far-flung locale every month. Once I got dirty I learned to love it. One thing is I did not eat donuts after I’d touched a feral cat. Others did. I only drank water for 6-8 hours. Thank goodness these folks are helping with the incredible cat reproduction problem and like those who help track Greyhounds, will be able to go out of business one day.

Cheers, Dee

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One response to “Dirty Job

  1. The tip off the right ear is a sign for caretakers (some trapping behind a dumpster at a strip mall) to know who’s already been “altered.” It’s a tiny snip and the cat is asleep when it’s done.

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