The Finding of a Therapy Cat: a series about Tinkerbelle, Registered Pet Partner Therapy Cat (retired) and our journey together.
By Mollie Hunt
Part 17: 15 Minutes of Fame
I think it was sometime during our second year as Pet Partners. My memory fades; Tinkerbelle probably recalls to the date— she’s good that way. Dove Lewis, our local emergency animal hospital had been offered a promotional deal from a well-known portrait photographer. He would donate his services taking professional quality photographs of Dove Lewis donor’s pets, then compile the pictures in a full-color coffee table book. Since Tinkerbelle is the most beautiful, gorgeous, brave, helpful, remarkable cat in the world, it was only fitting that her portrait should be included.
My only other experience with taking a cat to a photographer had not gone well. It was a busy studio in a mall, and by the time I got in, the kitty was stressed. The photographer, though probably fine with people and kids, didn’t have a clue how to deal with a cat. The pictures were tolerable, but kitty looked scared to death.
I made my Dove Lewis donation, and took Tink for her sitting, hoping to have a better experience. I was not disappointed. Charles Waugh was gentle and patient with Tinkerbelle as she explored every corner of his large studio room. He and I talked quietly as she roamed and sniffed and did cat things. Finally when her curiosity was sated, she walked right up to the prop chair at the center of the white staging area, hopped upon it, and made herself comfortable.
Mr Waugh got many beautiful pictures of her, both in and out of her official vest. I came back sometime later, and we picked the one we liked best for the book. I bought several copies, again all money going to Dove Lewis. Every so often, even still, I’ll go somewhere— a vet’s office, cat boarder, or pet store— and there it is, prominently displayed. I’m so proud of Tink that I always point her out. One time they asked me to autograph her portrait.
It was her moment of fame, but cats like Tinkerbelle don’t require fame. Unlike humans, she does her good works for a pet or a cuddle, because it’s her calling as a Registered Pet Partners Therapy Cat.
Tink served for four years as a registered Pet Partner Therapy Cat, visiting assisted living facilities and hospice patients. Tink is now retired and living the quiet life. Check out her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerbelleTheTherapyCat/
About Mollie Hunt:
Mollie is the author of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, featuring Lynley Cannon, a sixty-something cat shelter volunteer who finds more trouble than a cat in catnip. Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, and the Cat Writers’ Association. This year she won a CWA Muse Medallion for her 3-part blogpost series, “Life Stages”.
Like Lynley, Mollie is a grateful shelter volunteer. She is a longtime volunteer for the Oregon Humane Society where she socializes sad, fearful, and behavior-challenged cats. She also fosters sick and elderly cats in her home. In 2014, she had the privilege to work with cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy on a particularly thought-provoking case.
You can find Mollie on her Website: http://www.lecatts.wordpress.com/, her Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/molliehunt, and her Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MollieHuntCatWriter/.
Sign up for her Extremely Informal Newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/c0fOTn.