September Volunteer of the Month: Cathy Cohan

Cathy and her cat
September 11, 2020

When did you start volunteering at PAWS?

March 2015

What jobs/roles have you performed at PAWS?

I have been a dog walker since I started volunteering at PAWS. Three years ago we also started fostering kittens.

What do you currently do as a volunteer?

I am still a dog walker. Recently I have taken a pause on kitten fostering after adopting one of the kittens from the C litter. Corinna (nka PeeWee) is our newest family member. 

Why do you volunteer at PAWS?

I started as a dog walker to get my "dog fix" since it was not practical for us to adopt a dog. I keep volunteering because of the tremendous great work of the organization. We adopted Calico and Anya from PAWS in 2010. They have been an important part of my kids' childhood. I am thrilled that so many other people's lives are also enriched from PAWS pets,

When you're not at PAWS, what do you like to do with your time?

I am a mom to two teenagers. I have a great job working on increasing equity and inclusion in the College of Engineering at Penn State. And I love baking. Pies and sourdough bread are my specialties.

What do you like best about being a PAWS volunteer? What do you find to be the most rewarding?

I love that dogs and cats can enrich our lives in so many ways. I enjoy spending time with the other volunteers as much as the dogs and cats. It is rewarding to know that our volunteer work is making lives better for people and for the animals they adopt.

If someone asked you why they should volunteer at PAWS, what answer would you give?

It's FUN. You will make great friendships with the other volunteers. The organization is very well run, and you will feel great about contributing to the important mission. There are so many ways to get involved. I would like to put in a plug for fostering. I hear people say "I could never do that because I would want to adopt them all." We started fostering with the clear idea that we would not adopt but would be caretakers on their journey to their forever homes. I am very happy that our foster kittens will go on to great new families. Our most memorable fostering experience was taking care of a momma cat and her six nursing kittens. I spent many evenings sitting on the floor of our guest room while the kittens rolled around and played amazed at how much fun I was having watching them have fun. We had our first "foster failure" during the pandemic as we came to realize that we needed the energy and spark of a kitten as part of our family. We are thoroughly enjoying the joy that PeeWee brings us.