Volunteering at Christmas

Stepping up to volunteer at Christmas was an easy decision for Carol Woodward. In this feature, she explains why.

Christmas day was always a grand affair with family, friends, waifs and strays all coming to my house for lunch.

Makeshift tables and borrowed chairs would be set up wherever there was room, the importance being to ensure no one spent time alone on this special day.

My cats would get spoilt rotten and would always get a Cats Protection catnip banana for Christmas, while I would end up an exhausted, frazzled wreck by the end of the day.

It was lovely but with the younger family members growing up and having families of their own, it is now their turn to play hosts to us more ‘senior’ members. 

Following early retirement from work, I recently became a volunteer Cat Care Assistant at the National Cat Adoption Centre in Chelwood Gate, and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

When the call went out for assistance on this coming Christmas morning, I didn’t hesitate to step up. 

Without any need to rise at 5am to put our family's turkey in the oven, what better way to start the day than caring for the cats and giving them an extra festive cuddle.  

Exchanging presents can wait a few hours. A cat’s hungry belly cannot.

Hopefully, it will also enable one of the permanent Cat Care Assistants with a young family to get home a bit earlier and spend more time with their loved ones.

Weather permitting, my cat-care stint will be followed by a run or bike ride (a great de-stress prior to a busy day ahead) before spending the rest of Christmas Day with my husband and family.

Hopefully, this year I can be waited on while I put my feet up!