Cat ladies get kudos for volunteer work

SOPHIE SPEER
CULTURE AND CAPITAL DAY REPORTER
Last updated 08:53 16/10/2012
Cat ladies SPCA
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ
Andi Cossar and Margaret Nixon received special gold medallions in recognition of their voluntary service to the Royal New Zealand SPCA at Government House.

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One calls them her furry bubbas and the other had 24 recuperating at her house at one time.

Andi Cossar and Margaret Nixon volunteer with the Wellington SPCA, helping to rehouse cats and kittens, and foster-caring for them in their homes.

Ms Cossar said while she was always happy when a cat was adopted to a loving home, she had been known to shed a tear at adoption drives.

''You develop a relationship with the furry bubbas ... [but I'm] happy for them. It's a really rewarding thing to see them go home.''

Ms Nixon started volunteering with the Wellington SPCA five years ago, and in that time has cared for more than 100 sick cats and kittens in her home.

The most she has had at one time was 24, which she said was hard work and required her to be well-organised.

''But it's a great joy. Twenty-four cats is a very joyful vision.''

The work was very rewarding, she said. ''I get a lot more from them than they get from me.''

''Cats are very stoic, they think, 'This is what life has served up and I have to put up with it.' That sense of stoicism is one thing they've taught me.''

The pair are among the 1000 volunteers from SPCA Centres throughout New Zealand who are receiving special gold medallions to recognise their voluntary service.

One hundred and thirteen of those received the medallions at Government House from the Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, patron of the Royal New Zealand SPCA, last night.

Sir Jerry said the volunteers were the lifeblood of the society.

''Their work, their time and effort in a variety of ways provides great strength to this organisation.''

Wellington SPCA chief executive Iain Torrance said that, without the work of volunteers who provided foster homes to sick animals, many of them would have to be put down.

The remaining volunteers would receive their medallions at ceremonies in their regions within the next two months.

Contact Sophie Speer
Culture and Capital Day reporter
Email: sophie.speer@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @sophie_speer

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