Cindi Bliss has a tremendous love of cats; enough to volunteer for the past seven years as a vet tech at the in Norton. Her experience with felines traces its roots back to her grandfather.
“My grandfather was a wild animal rescuer,” said Bliss. “He would pick up baby animals and bring them home and incorporate me with their care. All my life I’ve taken care of special needs animals.”
Bliss does not have formal training, but learned hands on how to care for cats. She said that the has been terrific for the shelter, instructing volunteers on how to care for the animals.
“I love everything about cats,” Bliss said. “I have 20 non-adoptable at home, those with chronic illness. All of the medical team at the shelter have special needs cats at home. The cats all get along in my home and Nine Lives buys most of the food for me and provides for the special care they need.”
Bliss, who lives in Norton, worked for Swank for 25 years as a coordinator and also worked as a freelance artist, doing portraits and some advertising. She considered becoming a vet, but found the surgical aspect of the job a bit too difficult to handle.
Bliss said the team at Nine Lives does a lot of outreach in the community, helping people like the elderly with the care of their cats.
“All a person has to do is call and one of the girls will help out,” she said. “We try to reach beyond Nine Lives and help out other shelters.”
The vet care team consists of Patty McDermott, Kim Whynot, Robin Biedak, Maryanne Orlando, Lisa Nascihento and Pat Everson, all of whom do amazing work, according to Bliss. Bliss also had high praise for Dr. Shawna Li, of the Norton Animal Hospital.
Some of the tasks that Bliss does at the shelter includes feeding, providing fluids and medication, and testing for illnesses, among other tasks.
“The team here is so good,” Bliss said. “I really love it here. The cats need an advocate.”
“Cindi is phenomenal,” said Jean Harnden, who also works at the shelter and sits on the board of directors. “She can figure out what’s wrong with the cats and she’s great working with the vets. She wants to include the entire team to give them all the applause for what they do.”