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Photo of OCC employee, Paola
This month Jean Luc had the purr-leasure of sitting down with Paola C., who will be celebrating two years with Orlando Cat Café next month!  Here is our interview:

JL:  Hello Paola and thank you for taking the time to sit down with me. Do you mind if I sit on your lap while we talk?

PC:  Hi Jean Luc, it would be honor to have you sit on my lap!

JL:  We’ve known each other a long time now, but can you tell our readers what it is you do here at the Orlando Cat Café?

PC:  Well…my official title is Veterinary Technician/Adoption Counselor but I also consider myself a Gatekeeper and Cat Slave. Really I do it all!

JL:  Cat Slave? Well, to be fair I would think that anyone that works with cats knows that they actually work FOR cats right?

PC:  Right!

JL:  And aside from the pleasure you must get seeing to every cat’s needs and wants, what do you enjoy the most about your job?

PC:  I enjoy being able to use my Vet Tech skills by making any sick kitty better and then seeing them go home.

JL:  That’s beautiful. I currently have a growly feeling in my tummy which I think could be helped by some cookies, would you be able to make that go away?

PC:  Perhaps after this interview is over.

JL:  OK – I think I can wait. What do you enjoy the least about your job?

PC:  We have had a couple of kitties that have come back to us after their adoption because they were not a good fit. All three of the Adoption Counselors at the Orlando Cat Café work very hard to make sure that when a kitty gets adopted, it’s a good fit and they will not be returned. Even though only a few have come back to us, I don’t like when that happens because I feel bad for the cat who had a home and then lost it. Most of the time it’s because the new family did not give the cat adequate time to adjust.

JL:  That is sad because I know that you all work hard to ensure that that doesn’t happen and when it does, I am sure you are disappointed. This is making the empty space in my tummy feel emptier. Do you think a cookie would help?

PC:  In a little while. Do you have another question?

JL:  Let me consult my notes…Yes! What advice do you have for people who want to work in the animal welfare arena?

PC:  I’ve been working with animals for 18 years now and it is not an easy job. You have to be mentally & physically willing to put an animal’s life before yours. Many times I’ve had to stay at work late, go to work earlier, or skip lunch. There will be times you will feel like it’s a thankless job but when you start noticing that an animal went from not eating, not playing and not feeling good to full recovery that’s the moment you realize it is all worth it and the feeling is extremely rewarding.

JL:  Skipping lunch must be awful. I’ve never skipped a meal, and up until now, have never skipped a snack…

PC:  I will get you a snack in a moment.

JL:  Because it will be extremely rewarding?

PC:  Yes.

JL:  What do you like to do outside of work?

PC:  I love spending time with my husband by going to concerts, theme parks, the beach and the movies.

JL:  Very nice. I like to nap. And eat.

PC:  I know.

JL:  Final question – do you have any pets of your own?

PC:  After losing my six cats due to old age (one passing away every year for six years straight) I am on an ownership hiatus for now.

JL:  You know I have the pull to set you up with a couple dozen kittens right?

PC:  I am really ok with just taking care of you and your friends at the café for now.

JL:  Speaking of which, weren’t we discussing cookies at some point?

PC:  If you get off my lap I can get you a cookie.

JL:  Deal!  Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me about your job here.  And thank you for everything you do for the kitties at The Orlando Cat Café.  And thank you for the cookie!

JeanLuc's Blog

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