I mostly did the physical work of caring for the animals, but I did some desk work as well. We didn’t get that many calls per day, but the few that we did get were…interesting, to say the least. Being an animal shelter, we of course had the adoptable animals on the main floor and then the intake/newly picked up animals or animals that were still being treated or evaluated in the back. For obvious reasons, these guys aren’t yet adoptable, but try telling stupid people what they can and can’t do.
One day, we had an old woman call us up asking if we had cats available.
I’m Drej. Crazy old lady will be COL.
COL: Hello, I was wondering if you had any cats available.
Me: Oh, yes, ma’am – we’ve always got a good number of cats available for adoption! Were you looking for anything specific?
COL: Oh, I didn’t mean the cats you’ve got out on the floor – I was wondering about your ferals, the ones set to be destroyed? You see, I’ve been wanting to save a life and I was specifically looking for one of those.
ME: ….Ma’am, our ferals and any of the cats that are scheduled to be put down typically have untreatable medical or behavioral conditions. Our adoptable cats are going to be the ones out on the adoption floor, and you can also see all of them up on our websi-
COL: suddenly shouting BUT YOU ARE AN ANIMAL SHELTER. ISN’T THAT YOUR MOTTO? AREN’T YOU SAVING LIVES?
Me: Um, yes, but-
COL: WELL, IF YOU’RE NOT ADOPTING OUT THOSE POOR CATS ON DEATH ROW THEN THAT’S NOT SAVING A LIFE. I WANT TO MAKE SURE I’M SAVING A LIFE.
Me: Um, Ma’am, I assure you, you’ll be saving a life by adopting one of our wonderful cats or kittens that have already been evaluated and given sh-
COL: YOU’VE ALREADY DONE WHAT YOU NEEDED TO WITH THOSE, I WANT TO SAVE A LIFE. YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT THE ONES ON DEATH ROW. I WANT ONE OF THOSE CATS, AND I WANT YOU TO DELIVER IT TO ME.
Me: Ma’am, we do not deliver animals at this shelter.
COL: WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T? I’M SAVING A LIFE, YOU SHOULD ACCOMMODATE ME. I’M FUCKING 87 YEARS OLD AND I CAN’T DRIVE ALL THE WAY UP THERE AND I DON’T HAVE ANYONE TO TAKE ME.
Me: Then I’m afraid there isn’t anything I can do, unfortunately.
COL (doing her best Holden Caulfield impression): YOU’RE ALL A BUNCH OF PHONIES SAYING YOU’RE SAVIN’ A LIFE AND YOU JUST KILL OFF THOSE POOR KITTIES. hangs up
I just sighed and went to tell my manager to watch out for any insane old ladies who might be coming to steal all of our ferals.