This month Jean Luc sat down with Libby O., newest team member at Orlando Cat Café to discuss love…and litterboxes. Here is a portion of that interview:
JL: Hello Libby! Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by me. Do you mind if I sit on your lap but with my back towards you while we speak?
JL: How long have you been with the Orlando Cat Café?
LO: I have been volunteering since August of 2020 and was lucky enough to join the team in November of 2020.
LO: I don’t remember hearing anything about that, but I can check…
JL: What made you interested in working at the Orlando Cat Café?
LO: I have always been a huge cat person, and when the Orlando Cat Cafe opened in 2016, I was actually living right down the road, so I was a frequent visitor and just loved being able to see all the different cats that came through and the environment was just so wonderful, for the cats and the humans! When I found out that the cats from the Cafe came directly from the shelter, it only made me love this place even more.
I had always dreamed of doing something like this as a job, so when the opportunity came, I could hardly believe it. It truly is better than I ever imagined, helping the cats find their forever homes and seeing the joy on people’s face when they meet their new furry friend, I could cry (happy tears) all day long!
JL: That’s really lovely. I’m not an expert but I think it would make you even happier if you could look into the whole unlimited cookie thing. I’m thinking something like a buffet set up with different flavors…
LO: I can definitely check with the other Team Members…
JL: What do you enjoy the most about your job?
LO: Is it too cliché to say literally all of it?
JL: I get that a lot…
LO: I would say just seeing the cats go to loving homes and the moments where the cats pick the people are almost too much for my heart to take. Sometimes people come in with no intention of adopting, just visiting, but suddenly a cat walks over to them and basically decides for the people that they have to take them home and then they do! Plus, I get to spend all day with cats, so I mean, really, BEST JOB EVER!
JL: I love your enthusiasm! I’m going to turn around and face you now! It’s really true that often times it’s the cats that pick their forever families and not the other way around. It’s almost like they have an inherent sense of who has the best cookies, don’t you think?
JL: What do you enjoy the least about your job?
LO: It’s hard to pick anything, but if I had to, I’d say some of the cats that come through truly just capture my whole heart, and when they find their purr-fect match and get ready to go home, I get emotional knowing they won’t be there the next day yelling at me for some breakfast or stepping all over the computer when I’m using it. But it’s all okay because it just means they found their family; I just miss them when they’re gone!
LO: I guess I’d also throw in scooping cat litter, because does anyone really enjoy that? Hahaha!
JL: Everyone says litterboxes but the truth is the truth. I can’t say I blame you. You know you’ll always have me, right?
JL: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the animal welfare arena?
LO: I would definitely recommend checking out your local shelter, seeing if they have any volunteering available, because I had no idea really how to go about it in the beginning, and one day I just checked SPCA website and it said, “Accepting volunteer applications!” and the rest is history! You can make connections with places that might be looking for employment or find something you didn’t realize was an option, plus you’ll get experience in a shelter doing a variety of tasks that can help you in the future, even with your own animals!
JL: That’s excellent advice! Last question and let me just change positions while I dig my claws into your lap, what do you like to do outside of work?
LO: I am a huge concert fan, I am constantly purchasing my next ticket (usually Lady Gaga), or watching hockey, (Let’s Go Pittsburgh Penguins)!! I also am in the process of planning my wedding, so that definitely takes up a lot of “outside of work” time, but I couldn’t be more excited!
JL: Even though you are engaged, can you still be my Valentine?
LO: Of course!
JL: And you know what says “love” more than anything else?
LO: Absolutely – let’s get you that cookie!