Volunteer Spotlight: Kathy Moran
Kathy Moran’s three cats — Irish, Coco Puff and Buckeye — must love it when the Ohio State University Buckeyes play, because every time they score, Kathy gives them treats. But game day isn’t the only time Kathy spreads love to the felines in her life. In fact, on most days you can catch her rooting for the cats and kittens from the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Atlanta.
Kathy’s not only a dedicated foster mom to cats from the adoption center, but she spends a great deal of time at the center helping adoptable cats find homes. “Kathy is one of the easiest-to-work-with, caring, happy people I have had the joy to work with,” says Laura Linneman, operations manager at the center. “She is a wonderful and dedicated foster mom and an incredible volunteer. Our cat program would be lost without her.”
In the following interview, you’ll learn more about Kathy, what has inspired her to foster more than a dozen kittens, and about volunteering at the pet adoption center in Atlanta.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Best Friends and what motivates you to continue?
I like the flexibility that the adoption center offers. It is also clean and well-maintained, and I love that we explain to adopters what is needed to care for their animals.
What inspires you most in your volunteer work?
I love seeing the smiling faces of those who adopt, and I love seeing our animals find a good, loving home. Plus, I’m inspired by the wonderful staff at the adoption center. They are so refreshing to be around.
Since becoming a Best Friends volunteer, what have you learned and do you see anything differently now?
I started out assisting with the opening procedures in the morning — cleaning, scooping litter boxes, feeding the cats and deep cleaning. Now I do adoption counseling for the cats, and I foster.
In terms of your volunteer work for Best Friends, what are you most proud of?
This year I have fostered 20 kittens, some as young as 10 days old, and three mommas. I love seeing them get stronger each day.
What does volunteering mean to you and why do you do it?
I volunteer because all animals should have someone to love and take care of them.
Tell us about your favorite volunteer moment:
I took in two little brothers earlier this year who were not in the best shape. I stayed up with them for the first 36 hours. Once they started eating, they perked up. I went into the room where they were staying one morning and the little orange one (Toby) came running up to me and leaped into my arms. He knew I had saved him. They stayed with me for a few more weeks and I was able to get them adopted together! Their adopters send me photos.
What are you doing when you’re not volunteering with animals?
I traveled for work for many years, but you really do not get to see the sights when you are working. Now I like to travel for fun. I usually take a long weekend or a week each month. And I work out four or five days a week.
Can you tell us about any pets that you have?
I have three cats. Irish (named for my dad) was my first. He is a big tuxedo cat (and I do mean big) and a lover boy. He loves to cuddle and sit in my lap. He will be 11 in January.
Buckeye is my little wild man. He still loves to play, and he jumps on top of the kitchen cabinets. He also likes to drink from the faucet. He’s also a tuxedo cat and I got him to keep Irish company when I was traveling. Most people think they are brothers, but they are just BFFs. Buckeye just turned 10.
Coco Puff is my little princess — also a rescue. She is a purebred ragdoll who was rescued from a hoarder and breeder. She rules the house! Irish loves her. Buckeye tolerates her. She turned seven in May.
What would you tell others who are thinking of volunteering?
The staff and fur babies appreciate any time that you can help. You can spend as much time as you have available and you can do whatever you are comfortable with, including sitting with the animals, walking the dogs, assisting in cleaning or laundry or fostering at your home. Every little bit helps!
Photos courtesy of Nichole Dandrea