So, has the anxiety of producing a Christmas dinner for the entire family set in yet?
If you think you have it bad being relied on to satisfy a dining table full of expectant turkey-eaters, try feeding around 700 hungry mouths.
That’s the responsibility Barbara and Waldi Trotzki take on each holiday time.
But in their case, the hundreds being treated to a taste of the season only get a few bites each and in return offer deep purrs and thankful meows.
For the past half dozen years or so the Trotzkis, who ran a boat-building business, Progressive Plastics, in Richmond for three and half decades, have been cooking a turkey for the felines housed at the Richmond Animal Protection Society’s cat sanctuary, delivering the treats on Christmas Day.
It’s a labour of love for the husband and wife duo who have been supporters of stray cats dating back to the 1970s when they would trap and spay homeless cats wandering in and around their business premises.
A confirmed animal lover, Barbara says she was quite naive thinking there were no such things as stray cats, but quickly discovered plenty of young adults and their kittens frequenting the area.
“So, we started feeding them,” she says.
The Trotzkis then paid out of their own pocket to spay the females to try and keep the homeless cat population in check.
“It was quite expensive and we couldn’t afford to also neuter the males,” Barbara says. “We did what we could.”
Later on, they joined forces with Carol Reichert, another local, stray animal advocate, who is now the executive director of the Richmond Animal Protection Society (RAPS).
Together, they helped address Richmond’s stray cat problem.
Today, RAPS runs a pair of animal shelters, one in the Ironwood area for domestic animals of all types and the cat sanctuary located on a six-acre property on No. 6 Road, where the Trotzkis and a group of helpers will deliver the the 700 or so turkey dinners Dec. 25.
“I usually cook a 10-pound turkey, without stuffing, and cut it up, pack it into boxes and take it to the sanctuary,” Barbara said.
“It’s like a tradition now.”
Reichert says the effort is much appreciated and goes hand-in-hand with those made by other animal lovers who visit both the shelter and sanctuary on Christmas Day.
“A lot of people come out that day, and they all bring special treats,” Reichert said. “The cats get their turkey, and the dogs get things they wouldn’t normally get during the year.”
Making the turkey delivery on Christmas Day is not a hardship at all, Barbara added.
“You know, I really get more out of it than the cats do,” she said. “To provide them with a little care and consideration on Christmas Day charges up my batteries.”
However, in the meantime, as Christmas Day approaches, officials at RAPS are reminding the public that it’s not always a good idea to introduce a new pet to your home during the holidays.
Still, Reichert says December can be a busy month for adopting animals.
“Part of that is because some families have set aside time off to be at home,” Reichert said.
The adoption process includes an interview with the potential new owner, and if it involves a dog, a home inspection is done to determine if the setting is acceptable for the new four-legged family member to live.
“We still will do adoptions in December for those people who have planned it,” Reichert said. “It’s not an absolute no, but we don’t do any gift-giving (adoptions), when people come in and say that this is a present for someone.
“That’s just right off. They’d have to come back in January.
“We want people to know they are getting an animal. So, we never do adoptions that way. The person getting the animal has to be the person who comes in, fills in the application and wants the animal.”
For more information about the Richmond Animal Protection Society, call 604-275-2036, or visit rapsociety.com.