Tuesday, April 5, 2011

working with animals

Three weeks ago I got a job at a Bird Rescue centre. I like it a lot. My job title is Avian Rehabilitation Assistant, and I think it's pretty sweet. Other job titles I've had are 'Data Administrator', 'Volunteer Cattery Assistant', 'Volunteer Dog Walker', 'Administrator' and currently 'Cattery Assistant'. I have these two jobs and I work 6 days a week. As tiring as it is, it is really rewarding as an occupation.

I've had the job at the cattery for about a year now, and I have cut down to two shifts a week. It is probably the best job I've ever had and will ever have. The kind of job you actually look forward to going to. Amazing right. That never happens. Basically I work at a vet, and out the back is some rooms where cats can stay when their owner's are going away or something. We have a lot of the same cats in so they feel like my cat friends. Yes, I have cat friends. This job is 80% cleaning and 20% cat lovin'.

My job at the bird rescue is much the same, only more "hard out". I work there 30 hours a week. It's very hands-on. I come home every day covered in mud and "miscellaneous". I like it though. When I got this job I felt fairly indifferent towards birds. They can be pretty hard to deal with (sharp beaks + claws, and the fact that THEY CAN FLY), but I have grown accustomed to those lil guys. These are some things I do at my job:

Cleaning out cages, feeding, batheing birds, washing and drying dishes, giving medicine to birds, getting bitten by birds, patting my bosses 18 yo cat, drinking coffee, going crazy for my bosses' 4 dogs, dealing with an insane amount of bird crap, hosing out the outside pens, using the hose in general, wearing gumboots sometimes, being afraid of geese, dealing with the public who come in with sick birds, answering the phone, pretending i know stuff about birds, making small talk with colleagues (mainly bird-related), washing my hands a lot, getting bird shit on me and not making a big deal about it, handling various birds, perpetually smelling like fish, playing with the cute as penguins, sometimes finding dead birds and having to stick them in the freezer, going into the hawk pen and saying 'MIGHTY HAWK" and giggling, singing to myself when no one else is around and some other stuff maybe.

I really like working with animals. It feels like I am genuinely contributing something positive to society, as opposed to say, being a receptionist or something. I feel like a lot of jobs are morally vacuous, so it's rare to be able to get a job where you feel like you are doing something good. It's the kind of job where you come home at the end of the day and feel accomplished. I need that in my life. It is also really hard work, and quite physical as well, you are always moving and there is always something to do. I like that. I feel like working with animals would be an okay career, and it is something that I love doing.