TINKERBELLE REMEMBERS: We did too much

The Finding of a Therapy Cat: a series about Tinkerbelle, Registered Pet Partner Therapy Cat (retired) and our journey together.

By Mollie Hunt

Part 9: We did too much.

When Tinkerbelle and I first began volunteering, I went a little crazy. There were so many places that needed a cat visit: assisted living, nursing homes, hospitals, hospice, as well as special events and requests. I tried to stick with places close to home, meaning shorter trips for Tink, but even so, the choices were endless. It was so hard to say no.

We went many places and visited many people. Tink was a good sport but I could tell she was getting tired. It’s not just the time spent with the patients, but also getting ready: the bath, grooming, brushing of teeth, etc. Not Tink’s favorite part of the deal.

One thing they teach us in Pet Partners is that the animal’s needs come first. I finally narrowed it down to weekly visits to 2 local assisted living facilities and one hospice patient. Tinkerbelle was okay with that schedule and began to look forward to her hour with the people who loved her.

About Tinkerbelle:
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.

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Views: 781

TINKERBELLE REMEMBERS: Learning the Ins and Outs

 

The Finding of a Therapy Cat: a series about Tinkerbelle, Registered Pet Partner Therapy Cat (retired) and our journey together.

Part 8: Learning the Ins and Outs

When presenting with a Therapy Cat, one must always expect the unexpected, be prepared for changes, and learn to go with the flow. Since Tinkerbelle and I visited assisted living facilities where there is a diverse mix of people, I soon discovered that I had to be ready for anything, from cat lovers who accost us in the hallways to cat haters who scream at the sight of a cat. This is what I learned:

Ask upon entering a room if anyone is allergic or cat-phobic. Only when everyone is comfortable should we mingle.

Sometimes people pet too enthusiastically or even roughly; if that happens, never reprimand but instead, quietly disengage them with a smile.

Dementia sufferers may need a little guidance before they recall the comfort of petting a cat, but the result is worth the effort.

Many people want to feed or give treats. Explain that it’s against the rules (for several reasons, including the health of the cat) and politely decline.

Most important of all, when Tinkerbelle tells me she’s had enough, we say our fond goodbyes until next time.

About Tinkerbelle:
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.

Views: 1108

TINKERBELLE REMEMBERS: The First Visit

The Finding of a Therapy Cat: a series about Tinkerbelle, Registered Pet Partner Therapy Cat (retired) and our journey together.

By Mollie Hunt

Part 7: The First Visit

The first of anything is always a little scary. Things usually turn out okay though, and in the case of my first Pet Partners visit with Tinkerbelle, that was certainly the case.

Actually there were two visits: one with a hospice patient; the other, an assisted living facility.

I was already a volunteer for Pet Peace Of Mind Pet Peace Of Mind, a program that helps hospice and palliative care patients care for their pets, but I quickly found that visiting with Tinkerbelle was a whole new story. Suddenly I was in the spotlight – or really, Tinkerbelle was, because she was truly the star. Instead of quietly feeding and cleaning the litterbox as I had done for PPOM, I was interacting with the patient while Tink did her sit-on-the-lap kitty-love thing. Luckily our first patient was of optimistic temperament and excited to have a cat visit. We went by weekly until she died.

The assisted living facility was a very different experience from the one-on-one with the hospice patient. We checked in with the activities director who gave us a list of people to visit. Some were in their rooms and some in the common room where I took Tink around like show and tell. Tinkerbelle loved being carried and enjoyed all the atattention— for about an hour. Then she would show me she was tired and we would go home with happy memories of bringing a little furry joy into people’s hearts.

About Tinkerbelle:
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.

Views: 1648