“Inside the Boote Home” is our interview section, which has been created to share with all our supporters the stories of those who keep the Boote Home working through the years. In our first issue we have interviewed Mrs Jennifer Ridley, Cattery Manager, who has been working at the Boote Home for many years now and has devoted her life to cats in need. We hope you enjoy reading it!
– What is your first memory of your love for cats?
I became aware of cats as part of our family from a very young age. As a teenager, I was very fond of my pet cat Tibby, a beautiful long-haired white & tabby female.
– How long have you been involved with the Boote Home for Cats?
My family first became involved with the Boote Home 50 years ago; we always boarded our cats for annual holidays and my mother used to take stray cats to the Home and then volunteered here to care for them. The manager’s position became vacant and my mother was offered the post which led to the family moving into Boote Home – it was quite different from a domestic home lifestyle, but we adjusted as required.
– Wow. Was it then that you realised that you wanted to spend your life devoted to cats?
Yes, after my dear mother retired I became Cattery manager following in her steps. I have been working as Cattery manager for many years now. Over the years, routines have changed for the better.
– How would you describe a day at the Boote Home?
My day starts very early, the first thing I do is to check all the cat rooms, feeding the cats and attending to their needs before we open to the public. Then I await the arrival of my kind volunteers to assist with all the tasks required. Every day is different, depending on things such as the weather or the time of year (we have some periods busier than others). Days are usually very busy, but very rewarding too.
– What would you say is the most rewarding thing about being Cattery Manager at the Boote Home?
I would say caring for the many arrivals in various ways, many are unwell and we work to help them to improve in health and nature to enable kind adoptions ahead. We are so pleased to hear from their adopters on their progress. Also, it is very rewarding to care for the boarding cats whilst owners are on holiday, it’s a welcome financial support that allows us to keep helping more cats in need.