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Frisky Fridays

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Nov 21 2017
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It’s Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., and the warm exhaust from a community car driven by Sister Joyce Burkhart is already billowing into the air outside Mount Assisi Convent when Sister Barbara Ann Webster comes hustling out, and the pair heads off into the cool, crisp autumn morning. They are bound for one of their favorite destinations – a regular Friday morning date with their furry friends.

For nearly a year, Sisters Joyce and Barbara Ann have been volunteering at Animal Friends, a no-kill shelter just a few miles from Mount Assisi. They took classes to become certified cat handlers and spend an hour most weeks “ministering to the homeless.” In this case, the needy are homeless adult cats with colorings and backstories as varied as their personalities.

Kittens who end up at the shelter are often adopted quickly, but adult cats stay considerably longer. The shelter staff tends to their feeding and grooming needs, but volunteers like Sisters Joyce and Barbara Ann provide intangible service like social stimulation and companionship. 

It doesn’t take much to get either sister to admit she’s getting as much as she’s giving. The give-and-take benefits are evident on the sisters’ faces as they interact with cuddly creatures that remind them both of pets they once had.

Sister Barbara Ann is usually armed with a stray shoelace, and Sister Joyce a keychain laser pointer – both objects eliciting chasing and tumbling from the cats and hearty laughs from the sisters. “They are just so funny,” says Sister Joyce. 

On their way in and out of the shelter, they also stop to say hello to the dogs and rabbits up for adoption. “Sometimes we come the next week and some are gone,” says Sister Joyce. “We miss seeing them but at least now they have a home.”

Sister Barbara Ann (left) entertains a cuddly cutie with a shoelace, one of the simplest and most effective tools for a cat handler. Sister Joyce Burkhast (right) has her hands full with a pair of frisky friends during a recent visit to Animal Friends.

Last changed: Nov 21 2017 at 2:19 PM

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