Jeanette Greaves, Preston Branch
How long have you volunteered for Cats Protection?
I've been with CP since 1995.
Why did you decide to volunteer for CP?
In the mid-1990s I was looking for something that I could do from home and at weekends without making too much of a commitment; as I worked full time and had a 70-mile daily commute. As I learned more about the Preston Branch, it became clear that they were a group of achievers. Other charities that I'd investigated seemed to spend their time organising marches and protests. Cats Protection quietly got on with the job of rehoming cats, helping with neutering and fundraising to allow them to do the work. Volunteering for CP gave concrete results and I could see what I'd achieved as part of the group.
What's the best thing about volunteering for CP?
The other volunteers, without a doubt. The level of commitment is astounding and there's a sense of belonging that comes from having mutual aims and goals. The funny thing is that a lot of Cats Protection volunteers insist that they like cats more than people, yet when you get them together they're brilliant company.
What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering for CP?
Do it now! It could change your life and give you an outlet for untried skills. Remember that everyone else in the branch is a volunteer, so you'll need to respect their time and efforts too.
What has been the most memorable incident or day in your life as a volunteer for CP?
We'd lent out a trap to catch a feral cat and we'd been told that he was vicious and dangerous, but that he'd fallen ill. After three days without a result, I went out to investigate and found the cat asleep on a pile of old clothes in a garage. He was clearly too ill to be tempted by food. He didn't look vicious or dangerous, so I popped him in a carrier and took him to the vets. As I picked him up, he licked my arm. The poor old thing was very ill and had to be put to sleep, but I'll never forget how he understood that I was there to help. That's why, whatever the reasons were for starting to volunteer, I'll carry on as long as I can. It's all about the cats, in the end.