The Finding of a Therapy Cat: a series about Tinkerbelle, Registered Pet Partner Therapy Cat (retired) and our journey together.
By Mollie Hunt
Part 20: What People Remember
One of the assisted living facilities Tinkerbelle visited had a special floor where the residents with memory loss could live safely. They still had the nice rooms of their own, but there was also a large common area where they liked to gather. One time Tinkerbelle and I were asked by the activities director if we would visit with them there.
These people were suffering various stages of dementia and many of them couldn’t remember what they did yesterday, but they could often remember a cat somewhere in the far-back of their lives. As I took Tinkerbelle around the room from one person to another, I could see their faces light. As they petted her soft fur, they were reminded of days gone by.
One lady told us a story of herself as a little girl on a farm. They had barn cats then, feral and afraid to come close, but she had bonded with a feral kitten. She fed the kitten every day and finally convinced her parents to allow it in the house as a pet. She painted such a vivid picture of her life, the family home, and the beloved kitten, that I could see it in every detail.
Though a few minutes later when Tink and I came around again, she had forgotten who we were, I could comfort myself knowing she had good, loving memories to hold on to.
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.