L.A. volunteer Connie snuggling a cat
Connie's love for cats and desire to give back has been a tremendous help to our entire cat team, including our very busy nursery!
July 29, 2016
"Our Best Friends" is a weekly installment to honor just a few of our outstanding Best Friends LA volunteers. This is your chance to get to know some of the shining stars in the Best Friends LA volunteer program! Volunteers are either nominated by Best Friends LA staff or other volunteers in our program. If you would like to volunteer, e-mail the Best Friends LA Volunteer Department at volunteerLA@bestfriends.org

Connie M. - honored July 2016

Connie tell us.....

What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?

I split my time between the big cats and the kittens in the nursery. When spending time with the big cats I enjoy doing morning cleanings when it's quiet and I can spend a few minutes one on one with each cat in the kitchen or a tower giving them each a clean place to live, fresh water and a cozy bed. When in the nursery I like feeding the tiny babies, coming in week after week and seeing them go from bottle babies, to weaned kittens each with their own personalities. I also love seeing the special bond between the mama kitties and their babies.  

Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?

I always knew I wanted to do some kind of volunteer work once I retired, I just wasn't really sure what.  Then one day last June my daughter called me and told me she had signed us up for an orientation at Best Friends. Once we began shifts I knew it was a perfect match as it satisfied both my desire to volunteer and my love of spending time with cats.

How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?

Just over a year.

What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering? 

I enjoy reading, gardening and spending time with family. I walk and have recently taken up yoga again.  Weekend getaways with friends to Vegas or wine tasting are always fun. I am looking forward to a class I'm beginning an online through the Computer Institute of Technology. I will be studying Natural Healthcare for Pets.

Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA? 

Every time I come in to Best Friends I meet a new cat or kitten that makes me laugh or fall in love, but a few do stick in my memory. I'll always remember the day Baby Moran flew across the Ritz, launched himself into the air and hung from my pants leg! I also often think about Snow. A cat that had been returned and subsequently he shut down. I was among several volunteers who spent lots of time working with him. Talking softly to him and hand feeding him until the day he found his forever home.  Another special cat I met was on my trip to The Sanctuary. I came across a cat named Cookie who has since been featured in the Best Friends magazine. He had been through so much, but survived and was the sweetest most loving cat. We could all learn from his example. 

Do you have any pets?

As long as I can remember I've always had cats.  My first cat was a Siamese girl named Nicodemus (Nicky). I was about 6 years old and I lived with my parents in an apartment that didn't allow pets, but I wanted a kitten so badly my parents begged the manager to bend the rules I currently have two 14 year old cats adopted from rescues within weeks of each other. Harley is a grey tabby.  He suffers from kidney problems and my husband and I give him subcutaneous fluids three times a week, but it doesn't slow him down!  I also have Winston, a shy Maine Coon cat who loves cuddles.

What others are saying about Connie:

Connie is extremely reliable, compassionate and proactive.  She doesn't shy away from any of the nursery tasks and is always ready to help, whether it's doing dishes or picking up food for our kittens. She also has a warm and welcoming personality and manages to keep an upbeat attitude even during difficult times.  Simply put, Connie is an incredible volunteer and we are very grateful to have her as part of our nursery team! - Amanda Payne, Nursery Volunteer Coordinator