Ed. Note: In order to "get" part of this story, it helps to know that my Aunt Donut is diabetic.
I have been trying for quite a few weeks to find a place to volunteer at working with cats or dogs. I finally hooked up with FOCAS (friends of county animal shelters), agreeing to work at one of the Luv-A-Pet cat centers located inside a PetSmart. My first day was yesterday. I arrived at 10:00 a.m. to begin training with Karen. She told me that the morning shift cleans all the cat cages, and it usually takes the full morning shift (4 hours). Okay by me, hate sitting around anyway. The routine is, let all the cats out to romp (we're in a tiny room holding 10 cages and a long narrow area to walk in, also some storage area and a sink), change water, dump litter box in the trash, remove towels, newspapers, bed and toys, spray metal cage down with disinfectant and put in new newspapers, new towels if they're dirty, bed, toys and clean litter box. My trainer was quite a tiny woman, so I ended up cleaning 5 cages and she cleaned 3.
When I'd started I asked if they provided rubber gloves (the kind used in hospitals) and she said no. Mental note to self: I don't mind cleaning, but I'd just as soon have on the rubber gloves. After cleaning 5 cages it was getting close to 12:00 and with all the exertion my blood sugar was taking a dive. I asked if PetSmart sold any candy (Alpo treats are lousy for blood sugar, I'm sure) and she told me there was a vending machine. I went over to the sink to wash my hands and looked around for the roll of paper towels we'd been using while cleaning the cages. When I asked for the paper towels, Karen said, "Just use the hand towel hanging up there." Not wanting to argue on my first day (and also because low blood sugar makes me very very cranky and I'm not sure how I'd sound), I dried my hands off and went in search of the vending machine.
After gobbling down a small package of M & Ms and cooling my jets while my blood sugar climbed back into the normal range, I went back to find out what was next on the schedule. Karen said it was time to wash and dry off the old litter boxes. Yuck. Okay, since she offered to wash and I could dry. She filled the sink with water and soap and dumped in the litter boxes. Pretty soon the first litter box came out of the sink and I asked what they used to dry them with. "Oh" she said, pointing to the hand towel I'd just dried my hands with 10 minutes before. "We just use this hand towel."
I spent the rest of the day fighting the urge to fix myself a Lysol cocktail followed by a bleach chaser.