If you've been following my blog, you can tell that being a therapy kitty can be hard work. There was lots of training, evaluations, learning, trips, and there's those baths! Now that I'm officially a therapy cat, there's still more training sometimes, car rides, and even more baths. Mum takes time on her weekends and after work for us to go places too.
So why do it? Let me tell you a little bit about yesterday...
Almost every Sunday, we visit a place here in Portland which is part of the Providence ElderPlace system. Mum and I have been going there for over a month now and our friends look forward to seeing us each week almost as much as we look forward to seeing them! A lot of our friends there have memory issues of varying degrees. Sometimes we have the same conversations with them each week but they are so warm, friendly, and funny, that's all that matters.
I can't use names for privacy reasons but there is one, we'll call her "M." She is completely sweet, innocent, and funny - she likes mystery novels "But nothing too bloody." Yesterday, when we were visiting in her room, we started talking that some of the residents there have pets. She said that sometimes, she just wants to pick them up and hold them close. Mum asked if she would like to hold me. Her face lit up as she said "Could I?" Mum put my special blanket on her chest and put me in her arms. M had a stroke years ago and only really has one really good arm but she managed to hold on to me with Mum's help. I liked it... I stretched my head up and rubbed it against M's cheek, she put her head down next to me and I purred SO LOUD that you could tell I was happy. I closed my eyes and just let her pet me. She smiled and looked at Mum, "I can hear her purr."
We stayed like that and she pet me for a really long time and she talked with Mum. I was in no hurry to go anywhere. After a while, we did have to go so that M could go to lunch. As we were walking out of her room, Mum assured her that we would be back and M said "Good! Nobody comes to visit me." Mum said "Don't worry, we will."
That's why I'm a therapy cat.