This week was busy. Tuesday was a long day (probably pushing 10 hours!) and was full of feeding, cleaning, putting up christmas decor around the main path, and many animals for butchering. Every other day has been just as long...8:30 am - 6ish pm.
About this butchering...I wasn't so keen on this in the beginning...swearing up and down (to myself, of course) that I would not help with the process. Number one reason, when the chest cavity is cut open it smells just rotten (seriously, your head is right there and I would rather not be shot in the face is steamy, moist air). When I say rotten, I mean like stagnant, old sweet corn, mixed with chewed cud, digested intestinal air that really puts a gumball size knot in your throat. However, Ive gotten used to this smell (even without having to use vicks to mask the smell). Second, I guess it just took some time for me to realize that we were not killing these animals. They die from natural causes (pneumonia, cancer, age, weather) and if they were not used as meat for the cats they would probably just be buried and decompose in some field pit with other cows. It helps that you never see them alive. But today...today we got 13 animals in to butcher! Although it sounds morbid, it is really great we have so much food for the cats! The weather has been warm, then cold, then rain, then cold which makes farmers cows and horses just keel over. Butchering is actually quite interesting. Ive gotten to see a lot of anatomy. Really BIG anatomy. The size of a draft horse liver...HUGE! Lungs of a bull...HUGE! You just have to get used to it, take a deep breath and hope for an exhale, not an upchuck.
Besides that, I stepped in some cow poop (which really stunk), gave all 191 cats meds, wiped out on a cow leg in the cooler, and picked up a whole load of guts off the floor and held them in the bobcat so we could dump them in the compost....never really held up guts before, but it was defiantly something new and experience worthy. Gotta say this is no job for the weak at heart, squirmy stomached, or slacker.
Our favorite cougar Cody left on Tuesday...he was rescued with a group of 5 other cats and was claimed by a sanctuary in Minnesota. It was sad to see him leave since he has been living in the building since labor day. Every time you went near him he purred so loudly it sounded like a truck. He also LOVED to be pet and rubbed! It is awesome being able to pet a big cat.....something Ive dreamed of my whole life! Simply amazing.
A leopard, Angle (angel), also passed away this week. She passed on her own, without euthanization. She was very skinny and had had a very hard life previous to the rescue center. Atleast she was comfy in a warm straw bed, with a huge chunk of meat in front of her.