The Finding of a Therapy Cat: a series about Tinkerbelle, Registered Pet Partner Therapy Cat (retired) and our journey together.
By Mollie Hunt
Part 23: Disappointment
At the beginning of every therapy cat visit, we have high hopes for success. These hopes are well-founded because most people respond positively to the company of a cat, especially those who love cats and have missed them in their present living situation. Tinkerbelle had elicited many a smile, a laugh, and even a few happy tears. Stressed people could relax in Tink’s calm presence. Dementia patients who could not remember their family recalled times past with a cat of their childhood. Everyone treasured Tinkerbelle Time.
Then one day we met a woman who didn’t. Dory was well into the tragedy of Alzheimer’s, but I had been assured by her daughter that she loved cats. Though often vague and unresponsive, Dory still had good moments. We hoped a cat would, if not actually help her recall joyful times, at least be comforting.
Tinkerbelle and I called on Dory several times, but she never did respond in the slightest. Whether I placed Tink on her bed or on her lap, she was indifferent. She never said a word to us, and though she knew Tink was there, she never once moved to touch the cat.
Tink and I always left these visits a little saddened, hoping we had touched the woman in some way that didn’t show. It was a good lesson for me to realize that nothing guarantees a 100% success, even Tinkerbelle’s magic.
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, Willamette Writers, the Cat Writers’ Association, and the Northwest Independent Writers Association. Two of her short cat stories have been published in anthologies, one of which, The Dream Spinner, won the prestigious CWA Muse Medallion this year.
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/.
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