Example: The Finding of a Therapy Cat: a series about Tinkerbelle, Registered Pet Partner Therapy Cat (retired) and our journey together.
By Mollie Hunt
Part 28: A Character Post from Tinkerbelle
A note from Mollie: Why should I get to do all the journaling, just because I’m the human? Today for something different, I’m submitting a guest post Tinkerbelle was recently asked to do. Enjoy hearing about her extraordinary life in her own words:
“That’s right, kittens. I was a working cat.
My name is Tinkerbelle, and for four years of my life, my human partner and I visited hospice patients and assisted living places to bring a little furry joy to those who otherwise would have none. I had to train and take a test to be able to go visit these people. It wasn’t hard, since I just had to be my normal floofy self— calm and friendly.
That doesn’t mean being a therapy cat is easy. I had to take a bath and have my teeth cleaned, then go somewhere in a carrier to new and strange situations. I never knew what I would run into, noise, loud people, wheel chairs, and walkers, and sometimes even dogs! But I’m cool. I can handle all that, at least when I’m getting pets and loves.
It wasn’t all about me, however. Hospice is when a doctor is pretty sure the person is about to cross Beyond, so for them, my visits were very special. Assisted living places are homes where humans go when they get old and can’t do all the things they used to. Some of those places don’t allow their residents to have a cat, so my visits were special there too. I liked the feeling of calm that came over the humans when they stroked my fur and listened to my purring. Petting a cat can lower blood pressure in humans, and the frequency of our purr helps promote healing and even knit bone.
I was an older cat when I came into my calling, ten in human years. Before that, I’d been a street stray for a very long time. Then one day I was taken to a shelter and then into foster because I was very sick. Before I knew it I’d recovered and had a new home with my foster human who knew even then that I would be wonderful at AAI. (Animal-assisted Interactions) I loved my work, but as I grew older, it became too much for me. I preferred to stay home and nap in the sun, so I retired from therapy. Little did I know I was about to embark on a whole new career, that of a book character.
My human, whose name is Mollie Hunt, happens to be a writer who loves to write stories about cats. She brought me into her Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series in book 3, Cat’s Paw, where I made my debut as, of course, me! I played my role in the subsequent volumes, Cat Call and Cat Café as well, and plan on being in many more. Mollie has lots of ideas for her sixty-something cat shelter volunteer hero Lynley Cannon and her clowder of cats, so I predict I will be involved in both story and writing, since I am especially good at warming the keyboard.
So, kittens, it just goes to show you never know where life will take you. One day a stray; the next, a therapy cat; and the one after that, a beloved character in a book series. What the future holds for me now, I can’t begin to guess.
Tinkerbelle served for four years as a registered Pet Partner Therapy Cat, visiting assisted living facilities and hospice patients. Tink is now retired and living a quiet life. Check out her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TinkerbelleTheTherapyCat/
About Mollie Hunt: Native Oregonian Mollie Hunt has always had an affinity for cats, so it was a short step for her to become a cat writer. Mollie is the author of THE CRAZY CAT LADY COZY MYSTERY SERIES, featuring Portlander Lynley Cannon, a sixty-something cat shelter volunteer who finds more trouble than a cat in catnip. The 3rd in the series, CAT’S PAW, was a finalist for the 2016 Mystery & Mayhem Book Award, and the 5th, CAT CAFÉ, won the World’s Best Cat Litter-ary Award in 2019. Mollie also published a non-cat mystery, PLACID RIVER RUNS DEEP, which delves into murder, obsession, and the challenge of chronic illness in bucolic southwest Washington. Two of her short cat stories have been published in anthologies, one of which, THE DREAM SPINNER, won the prestigious CWA Muse Medallion. She has a little book of Cat Poems as well.
Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, Willamette Writers, the Cat Writers’ Association, and NIWA. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats. A longtime volunteer for the Oregon Humane Society, 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 Hunt, Cat Writer on her blogsite: www.lecatts.wordpress.com
Amazon Page: www.amazon.com/author/molliehunt
Smashwords Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CatWriter
Draft2Digital ebooks: https://www.draft2digital.com/book/
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/MollieHuntCatWriter/
Sign up for Mollie’s Extremely Informal Newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/c0fOTn.