By Tamara Anne Fowler
CNA Media Team
What do you do if you have spare time and love animals? You volunteer at the Oregon Humane Society (OHS). Concordian Diane Hogan has been volunteering at its cattery for the past 23 years.
Her love of animals all started when she was 4 and had a dog, a cat and a chicken. That was also when Diane’s father got her mother a Siamese cat. It was the late 1940s and Siamese cats were extremely rare. He was a pure bred named Woo Yang of Jericho.
Currently, Diane’s cats – whom she adopted from OHS – have less outrageous names.
Isaac was adopted at about 1 year old nine years ago. He is now 10 to 12. Diane came up with the name from, her grandmother’s surname, McKissack. Isaac is a snowshoe lynx point.
“Isaac is 14 pounds of regal,” Diane smiled.
Aurora, originally Culpepper, was adopted when she was about six month old. She is now more than 2. Aurora looks Siamese and is a mixed breed lilac point. She is beautiful and named after the equally beautiful Aurora Borealis.
Both Isaac and Aurora are participants in OHS’ Friends Forever Program.
“That’s an arrangement that, in return for a bequest from the pet parent’s estate, OHS will receive, provide all necessary care for and find appropriate homes for the pets,” explained Gary Kish, OHS development vice president. “This program is designed to both provide an option for pet owners, and the bequests will sustain OHS into the future.”
Diane sees many good elements in OHS. “People around here so good at spay and neuter with the monthly Spay & Save program.” Once a month, pets from low-income families come to OHS for their spay or neuter procedure.
When she first started volunteering, Diane felt sad for animals but then realized if they made it here they would find good families.
There are blind and deaf kitties that get adopted. Pets that are amputees due to accidents are adopted. There is currently a diabetic cat in the cattery whose diabetes is being controlled by diet.
Cats get surrendered for a variety of reasons. It can be due to owners who lost their homes and have no choice but to move to places that do not allow pets. There are homeless owners who need to surrender their cats because they are unable to provide for them. There are those who cannot afford their pets due to the pets’ health issues like kidney disease and diabetes.
Some of Diane’s favorite occurrences at the OHS cattery are the antics of the cats themselves. She told of two cats that came from different households — an adult male and a kitten female – that became friends in the cattery. At that time, OHS put mini hammocks in the cages. The male would climb into the top hammock and try to relax while the little kitten would get into the lower hammock and pat at the bottom of his hammock and bunny kick it.
Diane appreciates the people at the cattery — the staff, the customers. “It is psychologically healthy,” she pointed out.
The hardest aspect is a very rare occurrence. Sometimes a kitty is in so much pain and the quality of life is so poor that euthanasia is necessary. Staff members are advised so they can say good bye. This is taken very seriously.
Thirty-five years ago, Diane and her husband Joseph were living in southwest Portland, and they decided their home needed remodeling. When they got the quote, Joseph said, “You can buy a whole house for that amount of money.” So they did, and they moved to Concordia.
Diane admitted that the neighborhood has changed. She especially likes the local restaurants, and her favorites are Helser’s, DarSalam and Thai Noon.
She loves all the color and the murals that continue to pop up in her neighborhood. “There are so many people out walking the street and shopping.”
Tamara Anne Fowler is a copy/content editor, fiction editor and accountability coach. Visit her at EditKitten.com, email her at Tamara@editkitten.com or call 310.359.6038. She would love to hear from you.