Volunteering at a Cat Rescue Keeps This Couple Strong

Sarah and Rick Hughes decided early on in their relationship that having a shared hobby was important. For over two years now, they’ve volunteered together at a cat rescue organization, devoting every Saturday to caring for the cats there.

“We all have this responsibility to others and each other — God’s creatures, right, great and small?” Sarah shares. “That’s not just you and me. That’s the cats.”

Video Transcript

Meet Sarah & Rick: cat rescuers

Sarah Hughes: This is a newborn kitten I got to hold at the rescue right here. So cute. Oh. And then there’s our…Aw! There’s a video of them. You’ve got to see this stuff. Oh my God. Okay, hold on.

When we started dating, Rick was insistent that in order for us to survive, we had to have a shared hobby.

Elkhart, Indiana

Rick Hughes: I thought it was very important that we have something to talk about, we have a shared interest and we have a communication. Something that we can work together over.

In 2009, I was diagnosed with MS. And it really affected my fatigue and energy levels, and then I started walking real funny. I used to be very physically fit. I used to climb cell towers and repair…change out a light bulb at 200 feet in the air. But now, not so much. (laughs)

Sarah: The hobby that we have for the last two years this past September has been that we weekly on the weekends go to Here Kitty Kitty Rescue. And we volunteer there and help clean the litter boxes, give them food, change out their beds. Rick is the barber at the rescue. He likes to do that.

Rick: Brush them nonstop.

Sarah: When Rick and I first started volunteering here, I’m not even kidding, within the first week, I literally told Rick I wanted to — my heart was so like…I really just wanted to get a bed and come and put it here and stay here. I mean, I just, I love them.

Rick: Cats are like our family.

Sarah, talking to cat: You’re so cute. 

These cats are well cared for, they’re free-roaming, they have humans waiting on them hand and foot. But they all would rather have a forever home, right? I mean this is one step on their journey. That’s just why we’re here taking care of them. I can feel a bit guilty that what we do isn’t really human-related. What I just try to hold on to is we’re all put here on this earth by God, and that we all have this responsibility to others and each other — God’s creatures, right? Great and small? That’s not just you and me. That’s the cats, that’s the dogs. And so I just choose, that’s my thing.

Rick: I was a foster parent for a while. I was a school teacher. I think helping the cats, even though they really can’t say it, they appreciate it just as much.

Sarah: Yeah.

Rick: We both love cats, and we both love to give, and this worked out great.

Sarah: As long as we can, we’re going to be there at the rescue every weekend, helping them out and supporting them. I mean his physical challenges he has right now makes that a little bit harder, but we love them and we’re going nowhere. The wet food parties are not going to end.

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