This past weekend, I volunteered in the cattery at the Greenhill Humane Society for the first time. I usually walk dogs, but it’s quite cold and rainy during the Winter here; I decided that I should take care of the cats for a few months. It was a very isolating experience, in a good way. There were a few middle-age cats (about 6 and 7 years old) who were sleeping in their own corners for my two hour shift. Some families came in sporadically and pet the cats, but mostly asked questions about why there were so few or where to find the kittens. At first, I was bored and antsy, but then I decided to make it a relaxing experience 🙂 I changed the radio station to one that I liked ha, and started browsing other blogs and Pinterest. I also ended up writing the post about music while on my shift. The cats seemed so peaceful – I would say hello to them every now and then with cuddles or food to make sure they knew someone was there for them.
Posting about this relates to getting through grad school to me because it involves finding your other passions and continuing to have fun with them in the limited amount of free time. On a student panel we had earlier this term, one of the now first-year teachers talked about how she quit musical theater once graduate school started and she was not truly herself without it. I have always loved animals and need them in my life in some way (not as my own pet, just yet!). Volunteering at the shelter lets me fulfill that love for cats and dogs as well as getting out into nature or gaining my own peace of mind. Remember to stick with the extra things you love in life, besides your future career goal!