Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Some of the stuff we have to do in order to be a Therapy Cat is lots of work - and then there there is some fun stuff too!  In the last post, we talked about getting all my stuff ready and getting cleaned up and everything.  Today, it's all about being gorgeous!

The last thing that has to be done to complete the registration process with Pet Partners is that Mum and I had to have a picture taken of the two of us - together!  Well, I convinced her that an awkward selfie was hardly the way to go and Mum got a friend of hers to take some pics of us (me really... Mum was there as a chaperone and she did have to be in at least ONE of the pictures).  
Mum's wonderful friend, Betty Doran, suggested that we try Farmington Gardens.  It's a beautiful and HUGE nursery near our home and they graciously allowed us to come and do this.  That's one thing about being a Therapy Cat team... you learn to always ask permission for things.

You can kind of see beyond the buildings here, the property goes on and on for a really long while since they grow a lot of the plants that they sell!

You can go one way.... 

They have covered areas with even more plants and stuff!

But wait... let's go this way!  Down this path is the most beautiful garden I've ever seen!  I'm only two years old so even though I haven't seen a lot of gardens Mum said this one is really special.

Betty thought I was really cute... she obviously has excellent taste in kitties!

Mum thinks that I should be a cat food spokescat or something...  Did someone say "All the crunchies I can eat?!"

We found a really nice place in the shade and Mum held me in front of her....  No dice since I kept looking off to the side because there was SO MUCH TO SEE!!  I was actually pretty distracted with all the flowers... and the bees...  and the birds... and the people... It was a good thing that this wasn't an official visit although there were some kids there that I got to meet and they smiled at me a lot.  Then, Mum remembered that I like to ride on her shoulders some times.  Once I was up there, I found something much more fascinating, Betty's camera made noises that kept my attention!  So here is our official badge picture.  What do you think?

After a morning of all that paparazzi, I need a rest.  You can find me laying low in my stroller... signing pawtographs.

*Basil's Mum here...  I'd like to officially thank the wonderful Betty Doran for a great morning and taking such purrrfect pictures!  Also, a huge thanks to Farmington Gardens for allowing us to roam the grounds and entertain staff while we took pics.  If you live anywhere in the western Portland metro area, check them out!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Getting ready...

Being a therapy kitty is lots of fun and lots of love but there's also an awful lot of work that goes into it!  In some future posts, Mum and I will go into all the time and hard work that went into getting ready for our evaluation but for this post, we're going to meow a bit about what goes into getting ready for a visit or event.

The night before we go anywhere is really busy.

I get my claws trimmed....  I wouldn't want to scratch anyone if I got scared.

I get my ears and teeth checked and cleaned...  Who wants bad breath?  Not me!

And then...  (insert dramatic music)  I get a bath!

Now, I don't hate baths but I don't love them either.  To follow the rules, I have to get one within about 24 hours of going somewhere.  Mum taught me how to "stay" which is what I'm doing here for my bath.  As you might guess, "stay" isn't my favorite at this moment either. After I'm all clean, Mum dries me off as much as she can with a couple of towels and then, I run off to finish the job.  You know they saying... if you want something right, you've got to do it yourself!

The next morning, we get breakfast a little earlier so that I have time to eat, clean myself, and use the litter box if I need to.  While Mum gets herself ready, I make sure all the water goes down the shower drain.  My sisfur, Tesla, helped this morning.

Then all my stuff has to be packed to go with us.  We take along... all of this!

  1. My Pet Partner vest (just in case I have to be official somewhere)
  2. A hair removal brush (so I don't leave anyone with fur on their shirt or something)
  3. Hand sanitizer (people in healthcare settings have to use it before and after they pet me, just to be safe for both them and me)
  4. A small blanket (I'm not allowed to sit directly on a patient's lap so Mum puts this down for me to sit on)
  5. My harness (this goes on with my leash attached before I ever leave home)
  6. TWO leashes (my regular one and a second shorter red one in case someone else wants to hold my leash so Mum always holds the pink one and never lets go of me)
  7. Treats, I'm a fan of catnip flavored Greenies (I'm allowed to have treats if someone wants to give me me one and it's okay with Mum)
  8. An extra soft brush (in case someone wants to brush me or a Doctor wants me to help with someone's occupational therapy and they hold the brush to pet me and work on their hand coordination)
  9. A bandana (Mum usually uses it if she sneezes but it can be to wipe off my face or lots of things
Then, my stroller has to be cleaned, ready with all my stuff in the compartment underneath, and loaded in the car.  Mum brings along an extra soft kennel and a small litter box... just in case.

Mum puts my harness on and hooks me into my booster seat after she puts the seatbelt through it so I'm all safe.

AND AWAY WE GO!!  You'll have to come back to see where we went today...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Beware... The simple things can be dangerous.

A few days ago, Mum was doing some cleaning and put a few things near the front door so she could take them out to the recycling and trash.  One thing was a cute little paper bag with stiff twine for the handles.  It only took me a minute to get curious about it all...  I stuck my head through the handle and Mum saw me but it was too late!

I felt the handle around my neck and then, as I pulled away, the bag came back too!  I got really scared and ran away.  The faster I ran, the more scared I got because the bag was still around me.  I ran behind the couch and the bag got caught around the leg of the couch.  Mum had a heck of a time getting to me and just ripped the bag as quick as she could to get it away from me.

I was still scared a shook for a little while but Mum tried to calm me down and let me know I was ok.

Lesson....  PLEASE be careful of ANY sort of bag in your home!  Mum knew this lesson but it only takes one second for us to get our heads stuck in a handle.  If it's a plastic bag and we get scared, we could try to get away and the bag may twist around our necks or the plastic cover our faces.  So don't leave anything like this around, whether you're home or not!

You are your animals best advocate and steward. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Going to the V.E.T.

Everyone usually thinks that becoming a therapy kitty is pretty easy... as long as your nice and like people, it's a done deal, right?  Wrong!  There are a lot of things that have to be done first.  Up to now, Mum has been taking me to places so that I get used to being around strangers, loud noises, and all sorts of different things.  I also had to get used to wearing my harness and riding in my stroller  - and do all of this without being afraid!  Then, Mum had to take a class so that she would know how she has to behave and handle me in all of these situations.  We're being certified through Pet Partners and they are really strict about their therapy animals teams!

One of the things that has to happen before the big test day is a special trip to the V.E.T.  Normally, cats don't like this at all and Mum had to find us a new doctor which made it extra tough.  Thanks to her friend Dr. Grant from Scaredy Cat Hospital in Phoenix, AZ, yesterday we went to Cat Care Professionals in Lake Oswego, Oregon near our home.  Before we even walked in, Mum said she was pretty impressed with how they handled everything.  They had all my records before we got there and they used all sorts of cool techy things so it was on the calendar on Mum's computer so she wouldn't forget and everything was ready ahead of time.

We got to the appointment on time because Mum is pretty picky about those sorts of things. Mack came along with me since it was time for our annual shots anyway.

When we went into the room, I had to check out the floor.  It was clean and very good for rolling around on.

Then I met the vet tech lady, Kristine.  She asked Mum all sort of questions and I introduced myself.

I think Mack just wanted to go home...

The Dr. Amanda Barkely came in.  Despite having the word "bark" in her name, she really likes kitties.

 She tried listening to my insides with the stethoscope thingy but my purr was louder.  It made everyone smile though!

She looked in my eyes and ears.  I didn't care much for this part but she was really nice and it was done quickly.  

And I got more love afterward!

Mack was just in it for the butt scratches!

Anyway, we found a fantastic new vet and really like Dr. Amanda.  She signed off on the paper saying that I'm healthy enough to be a therapy kitty!  Next stop...  THE EVALUATION.