Halloween-black cat

I have questions

Do any of you guys have any experience working or volunteering at a pet rescue place? (Specifically, a cat rescue.) The book I'm currently writing has a main character who works at a place like that, and I have some questions about what the daily routine would be like and that kind of thing - with the caveat that it's a tropey romance novel so there's going to be a lot of plausibility handwaving going on for plot purposes. :P

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Oo, I forget now, do you and cairistiona7 know each other at all? (I feel like you've shared some fannish circles, but I always forget which of my mutuals have actually interacted with each other.) Because I know she and her daughter volunteer at a shelter, and she's a fellow writer so she'd probably be up for helping. If you don't know her, I could pass along your questions and see if she'd able/willing to help, if you don't have others handy. :)

Edited at 2017-10-24 11:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, we do! I can't remember if it's here or tumblr, but I know we follow each other somewhere. I'll hit her up; thank you. :DDD
*waves hand* We follow each other on both and yes, I volunteer at a no-kill shelter and specialize in the cat area, so ask away!
Thank you!! :D Right now I've got some answers in the DW comments to the questions I had (which were mostly, at this point, about the morning animal-feeding routine) but I'm sure I'll have more. Oh, actually, since this seems to vary from shelter to shelter, can you tell me if the cats at the shelter where you volunteer are kept in cages or in larger areas, or if there are places for them to get out of the cages for socialization or exercise? I'd just like to get an idea of what kinds of practices are common, for writing about my fictional one.
The quick answer is "yes". :)

There are nice individual cubbies made from melamine/formica laminated wood with beds, food, water and small litter boxes and glass doors. If it's a particularly large cat or a bonded pair or group of kittens, there's a panel that can be opened between cubbies to allow the cats to live in two or three cubbies. These cubbies line one wall each of two rooms and are the main "here's the adoptable cats" section. There's approximately 40 of these cubbies, and banks of metal cages are used for overflow, usually in the fall and spring when cats are having lots of litters. Like the cubbies, the cages have individual food, water, litter boxes, bedding and toys (we had one little cat who came in with a little book that her owner, who passed away, used to read to her every night. It was remarkable how you could see her anxiety ease when you read to her).

There's also "The Porch," which is a room where a group of cats who get along well with other cats stay. There are cat trees and toys and windows that face outdoors and into the msin lobby as well. We also have private rooms for potential adopters to spend time with individual cats to see if they bond.

FIV+ cats are aleays kept in individual cubbies (but also are taken out for exercise and cuddles).

As for exercise, every cat is taken out of its cubbie as often as time/staffing allows. There's a whiteboard list of all the cats and as you take one out for play and cuddles, you check it off so everyone knows what cats still need some play time. Unless they're a bonded pair/group, only one cat can be out at a time, to prevent potential cat fights. And of course if someone comes in to adopt, we will get out the cat they're interested in. Some cats are shy and don't want out of their cubbies; those I try to simply pet while standing or sitting in front of their cubbie. The FIV+ kitties I try to give extra love to simply because they're much harder to home (we had one go home with a forever family today that had been in the shelter for a year).

The cages and Porch are cleaned every morning and adoption hours when the public can come in are from noon to 5 pm M-Sat.

All cats that come in are checked by the staff vet, spayed or neutered if needed, micro-chipped and given all their age-appropriate vaccinations.

Any other questions, feel free to ask!
Oh that's right, I forgot about her! I knew that; she used to talk about it on her LJ. Thanks for reminding me. :D
I worked for years at a no kill shelter for cats and dogs. Would that help?
Yes, that's totally relevant; thank you! I think right now I've got the answers to the questions I need, but I'll hit you up if I have additional questions.