Saturday, August 09, 2014

Kitty Cuddling.*

Today I signed on to be a volunteer at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. And the crazy dog lady signed on as a Kitty Cuddler. Yes, I'm going to work on the cat side of the house.

I love cats, I really do. I don't want to share this condo with one, because two dogs and no great place for litterbox, etc., but I do love cats. So, a couple of times a month I'll spend a few hours with them in the air conditioned cat building, as well as volunteer for community events, whatever they need. After the heat index drops below 105 I can ask to cross-train to work with the dogs as well, but I had to have a serious heart-to-heart with myself today. I wanted to sign up for the dogs, I really did, but reality is reality: I'm a 56 year old brain aneurysm survivor who isn't heat tolerant, and most of those dogs are big and untrained and full of youthful energy. I'm quite strong and flexible (go, yoga!) I love big dogs and can handle them and run and play in normal conditions, but this heat is debilitating for me, and I would be doing the dogs a disservice. I can deal with big and energetic dogs who need a good long walk and a ball game when it's 70 or 80 degrees, but when it's 95? No, sorry, I'll let the 16-25 year old volunteers wrangle the big goofballs in the heat. After it cools off just a bit, I can spend time with the dogs if they need me and let me cross-train to work with the dogs.

I do like the way they run their volunteer program - it's not just "show up, sign in, get a t-shirt, they turn you loose," it's very professional and organized. Volunteers have to attend THREE training sessions before officially starting work. My first actual kitty cuddling stint will probably be the second week of September.

*"Kitty Cuddling" of course means everything from litterbox cleaning (LOTS of box cleaning) to coaxing them out of dark corners, grooming, socializing, and breaking up fights. ;-)

And of course I'll be doing this on the side.

I stumbled on this recipe while looking for a way to use the portobello mushrooms I'd picked up on Thursday. They are not lying, this is a fabulous portobello burger recipe! I skipped the cheese because I already had the most perfectly ripe avocado slices, and even vegan cheese seemed like overkill. I think the magic is the grilled red onion. I now consider this my gold standard of portobello burger recipes; trust me, carnivores will LOVE it.

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