Tag Archives: friends of cats

Super volunteer is sad & depressed

I live in my own little world

Sad & depressed I am.

Super volunteer Russel Ray just isn’t wanted anywhere. Seems I give a good name to bad volunteers, so I’m not wanted.

Apparently when I started volunteering at Friends of Cats, they thought, “Yeah, another volunteer. Whatever.” Then they discovered that I’m not like other volunteers. I actually like to do things, especially if no one else likes to do them.

Unfortunately, non-profits have paid staff, people who are paid to do things, so when a super volunteer comes along, paid staff get anxious about, perhaps, losing their jobs.

I’ve done the city animal shelter, Second Chance Dog Rescue, San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society, and now Friends of Cats. If they have paid staff, they just don’t want regular, consistent, good volunteers.

I was doing whatever the various staff asked me to do. First and foremost was laundry, which I kind of enjoyed doing. While washers and dryers were running, I would socialize with the cats. Sometimes I would get asked to help feed, empty trash, pick up and clean empty food dishes, scoop poop, whatever. Always willing to help wherever I could. Someone apparently took issue with my help. I think it’s the only three people who had never asked me to help them with something.

So…. On to my next volunteer adventure.

I have been accepted at San Diego Oasis. I will be helping K-6 students who have been identified as lagging behind their peers in reading. Reading Tutor training is October 16 & 17, and I think actually tutoring the students begins in late October or early November.

I also will be implementing a chess club at one of the Oasis locations, possibly both of them. And I have been approved for teaching a class on “Taking & Making Great Pictures.” Chess and photography won’t start until February 2019, though.

Meanwhile, here’s my last two picture from Friends of Cats:

Black cats

Black cats

Remember that if you have a black cat that spends time outdoors, bring the little one in for Halloween night and the several nights leading up to Halloween. There are cruel, mean, nasty people in the world who like to abuse black cats at this time of year.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Let sleeping cats lie


The first time I ever got scratched by a cat was in 1966 when I saw one sleeping in the alley by our trash cans in Kingsville TX.

I went to pet it.


My wise old grandmother told me as she poured hydrogen peroxide on the wounds:

“Let sleeping cats lie.”

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

All pictures by Russel Ray Photos at Friends of Cats sanctuary in El Cajon, California.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

By now all the cats should be hairless

I live in my own little world

I have two main tasks each day I volunteer at Friends of Cats, Inc.

One is to wash and dry cat beds, towels, blankets, etc. There are four washers and four dryers, all running pretty much 8 hours a day. Each time I put items in a dryer, I clean the lint screen. All the lint screens look like this:

Dryer lint screen

Every. Single. One.

By now all the cats should be hairless.

I’m guessing someone comes in overnight and glues all the hair back on the cats….

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Dude! You’ve been cheating on me!


Yesterday was National Clear the Shelters Day. I spent eight hours volunteering for the Friends of Cats shelter in El Cajon, California, just five miles from where I live.

When I came home, covered in cat hair and all sorts of cat smells, I went to give Zoey the Cool Cat a hug. She smelled me and gave me a look that said, “Dude! You’ve been cheating on me!”

Here’s a 4:31 video of many of the little ones that I was cheating with:

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat approves

I live in my own little world

Apologies to everyone for my prolonged absence.

I left home on July 23 with the intent of going on a long road trip that would end with me entering a state of permanent sleep.

I’m home, but I’m still suffering from severe depression.

My doctor prescribed Fluoxitine HCL, which is generic Prozac, but after reading the five pages of side effect warnings (severe depression, suicide….), I decided to work my way out of this on my own.

I need something to do in my retirement years.

I thought I had found it with the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society as newsletter editor, photographer, historian, and all-around volunteer. Unfortunately, too many people were jealous of what I do and how well I do it. They convinced the Board of Directors, which three of the more jealous ones were on, to ask me not only to resign my positions but to leave the SDCSS completely.

As one person told me, “You are doing too much.”

Another said, “You haven’t earned your stripes yet.”

And yet another said, as he was telling me that the Board of Directors wanted me out, “There are other cactus & succulent societies you can join.”

I terminated my membership. I’m not one to stay where I’m not wanted.

I’ve run into jealous and petty-minded people all my life but not too often in charitable non-profits, and I’ve worked with Red Cross, American Heart Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Cancer Society, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and many more.

Now I’m trying to find things to do to occupy my time. I’m working on a new photography web site, getting back to my gardening (now that the temperatures have dropped below 100 effin degrees), and, a couple of days ago, I signed up to volunteer at Friends of Cats on a regular basis for about 10 hours a week.

My first stint for them will be tomorrow at the nationwide “Clear the Shelters” event, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Looking forward to it. I’m pretty sure I shall come home with billions and billions and billions of cat pictures.

Zoey the Cool Cat approves.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post