Shelter Christmas Morning

Upload an Image: 

Shelter Christmas Morning

Someone must have already fed the dogs for even my crunching footfalls in the gravel did not cause barking salutations. Barking used to say, “Hurry up I’m hungry. Hurry, I need a scratch or two down my back. Hurry, I am so glad you are here. Hurry, I want a walk around the outside pen – twice.” In the silence, I fantasized that all the shelter animals were in homes for the holidays.

With my family arriving the day after Christmas and dinner with friends later in the day, I planned to care for the shelter cats, which would enable the regulars to enjoy Christmas morning with their families.

Tortie Chloe greeted me at the door and hustled me along to the stacked cans and bowls that thoughtful volunteers had assembled yesterday. Crosby wailed and rattled his cage. Tootsie hid under her blanket. The kittens roiled in their cage. To let the senior cats in the assisted living room know that they weren’t forgotten, I rapped on their window. Here and there a paw poked out of its confines to grab any part of me they could reach. They were hungry, and I was their meal ticket.

Snapping off the lids and scooping the food into the waiting bowls, created even more meowing frenzy. “Me first; me first,” pleaded each hungry soul. As they relished their breakfast, the cats were as silent as the dogs had been.

A ready, clean litter pan was positioned in each cage, the cage was straightened, soiled linens were replaced, used litter was dumped and used pans were stacked for cleaning. Now, the water and dry food bowls were tackled. Then, I was done.

With time to spare, I decided to spoil the cats who had already finished all of their wet food. How could I not gift each cat in both rooms a second helping? It was CHRISTMAS after all!

Grabbing some brushes and combs, I showered some serious attention on each cat. By the time I had combed my way through both rooms even Russell was pleasantly relaxed. Wishing them all a Merry Christmas, I moved to the office to wish the other volunteers a happy day.

My hand was on the door to leave, when I recalled the dogs. Turning back, I plunged both hands into the biscuit jars and proceeded from kennel to kennel with the welcome treats. When I arrived at Georgia’s kennel, five biscuits remained, “Merry Christmas Georgia!”

“Merry Christmas all,” I thought as I crunched on the gravel drive feeling mighty good - feeling like I’d like to do this again next year.


True story by Madelyn McCarroll of USA



From the SMARTER than JACK team

1. Thank you for your rather moving story, Madelyn. Let us not forget the volunteers all over the world who keeps animals comfortable whilst the rest of us take time off to be with our families.

2. Merry Christmas to all of our supporters and our very best wishes for 2014. This is our last fortnightly story for 2013. The next fortnightly story will commence on 30th. January 2014.

3. You can make comments on this FORTNIGHTLY story by going to SMARTER than JACK's facebook pages/Smarter-than-JACK/102996653128210?sk=wall Please click on 'Like' if you like the story.

4. Comments and votes on all other stories can be made on our website

5. Don’t forget to submit any funny or smart animal stories during the festive season either to our website or email them to or Remember to have your cameras ready to capture those special moments. They can be uploaded onto our website.

Madelyn McCarroll
True Story?: