A typical Sunday for me. I got up at oh-dark-30 (well, all right, now that we're well past the solstice it's not dark at 7 AM, but it's way earlier than I get up for anything unimportant like work. Did I mention that I'm not a morning person?), bundled my gear into the car, and drove the by now familiar 90 miles to Exotic Feline Rescue Center. I park in the volunteer parking area, put on my boots, assemble all my crud, and walk down to the gate. Put all my stuff in the shed, use the bathroom, and I'm ready to go.
This morning, I find myself helping Jean with giving the cats their monthly dose of Ivermectin. (You probably didn't know that big cats are susceptible to heartworm. Now you do! See, I'm providing a valuable educational service.) This job involves pushing a lightly loaded wheelbarrow full of the chicken that Jean injects the Ivermectin into before feeding it to the cats, and as volunteer jobs go, I got off easy. While we're working our way through the compound, I also fill up water buckets. After we finish dosing all the cats that are getting their medicine today, we load the wheelbarrow with meat for some of the cats. As Jean starts piling meat into the wheelbarrow, I get the vitamins and start sprinkling the supplement on without having to be told. Jean says how nice it is to have someone who knows how to do some things without having to be told, giving me a small warm fuzzy feeling that I'm really helping and not just taking up space. We work our way down Cougar Row, feeding the cats and cleaning the cages -- I don't get out without doing some of the dirty work. But by the time we're done with this load of food, Jean calls for a lunch break. Since it's about 12:30 Indiana time, which is 1:30 Illinois time, and I got up 2 hours earlier than normal and normally eat lunch about 11:30, my body thinks it's high time for lunch. And by the time I finish with my sandwich, the main feeding crew (who weren't distracted with the Ivermectin) have pretty much finished feeding the rest of the cats. Karen says that they have enough people there to take care of the remaining chores, so I can walk around and take pictures.
I was lucky. The weather was wonderful. (Often it's not, but I don't let it keep me away unless the roads are too bad to drive.) There were plenty of people to do the work, and while there were some tour groups, there weren't so many that we were prevented from getting the regular work done because all the people who knew how to do anything had to guide tours. I got to spend a lot of time with the cats I love, and I came home with 500MB+ of pictures, at least some of which should be good.
After that, I of course have to get all of my stuff back into the car, drive home, and when I get home, clean up my boots and gloves. So I'm tired -- not as much as after a really hard day, but still tired. But it's a good kind of tired. I'm happy.