On a Tuesday I volunteer at our local SPCA. I have been doing this for a while now and really enjoy it.
Sure enough most of the time I end up helping with laundry or filling cat litter boxes with new cat litter, sometimes getting a cage ready, sometimes packing food bowls away and sometimes I even get to spend some time with some of the kittens or cats or rabbits or whatever other animals may have come in. Not so long ago I got to help out when Tracey the receptionist / office lady had to feed these 2 or 3 week old kittens with tiny little bottles and another time I got to feed these teeny-weeny tiny little birds that didn't even have feathers yet and we had to feed them every 20 minutes (making me realise that I'm truly happy I'm not a mommy bird :-) ).
I don't get anything out of this other than the satisfaction that I'm helping a great charity and that whatever help I give makes a difference in their ability to run the shelter.
So this morning I got there as usual and as I got there Tracey passed me this bundled up blanket and asked that I hold it against my chest for a while. Turned out inside was a small little black kitten. This kitten must be just over 6 weeks old and came in yesterday. It had the sniffles and was overrun by fleas. They treated the fleas and because of the sniffles put the kitten in one of our isolation rooms so that it would not infect any of the other cats. This morning when Tracey got there this kitten was completely unresponsive and very cold (no body heat). It was still breathing and as I held it I could see it at times having laboured breathing, other times seemed almost no breathing. Its gums were white (a sign that it was anaemic - probably because a huge flea infestation can kill a kitten, its pupils were not reacting to the light. And she felt convinced that it was busy dying. Tracey tried feeding it with a syringe at one point, but it didn't do anything, so I sat there watching it breath, softly talking to it and just making sure it would be as warm and comfortable as possible.
Probably an hour or hour and a half later it seemed more alert. Tracey gave it some more food and it actually swallowed it and licked its lips. It started feeling warmer (with its body heat). It started purring when I stroked it. It is still very sick with its sniffles, but for now, it pulled through.
It was such a rewarding feeling to know that I was able to help this kitten today. And this is what helping the SPCA is all about!