I had an especially nice therapy cat visit this week! It was at one of our regular hospitals, and we had a helper. She’s one of the other volunteers in our organization who is currently without a therapy dog. She has a puppy that is training, but he’s not ready yet. So she’s been helping some of us other therapy pet workers on our visits. My human loves having her along because she’s one of the more experienced members of the group, and she handles taking the photos, and serves as an extra pair of hands.
My human picked this visit particularly because it was mostly children. Usually we don’t do visits between Palm Sunday and Easter because people might bring lilies to the patients, and as many of you know, lilies are deadly to cats. Even licking the pollen off our fur can put us into acute kidney failure. But she figured that children would be less likely to have flowers in their rooms… and she was right.
Before we even began our visit, we ran into a group of staff members in a hallway. They seemed to be waiting for a meeting, but they were happy to pause and pet me. That’s always a fun way to start my afternoon! When we got up to the Pediatrics ward, we’d just fetched our bedsheets when a teenage girl saw us. She was standing in the doorway of her room, and her face lit up immediately. I was happy to sit on the bed and spend time with her. She was all by herself. Often the parents are in the room constantly. They even have lounges so that family can sleep in kids’ rooms. But not every parent can be there all the time. So while I enjoy when there are lots of people around, I think I like it even more when the child is alone. They need the company.
All the kids in Pediatrics were nice. One very young boy was a little antsy. My human got the impression that he was kind of tired being in a hospital room. He wandered around, getting into every thing he wasn’t supposed to (kind of like a kitty!). An organization had put together Easter baskets for all the kids, and he tried to give his to my human. So he wasn’t a bad kid, just restless. I think I was actually visiting that room more for the mom. She loved me.
One boy was having some pain in his abdomen, so my human wouldn’t let me crawl on his chest like I wanted to. She made sure I stayed next to him. Once I knew what she wanted, I snuggled and purred lots of the boy. I think he needed it.
Next to Pediatrics is another area with young patients called PICU. Usually there is just one, or maybe no children at all. But this time there were three kids, and I visited them all. They were all so happy to see me, and so were their families. The last boy was a teenager, and we could all tell right away that he’s one of those kids who adores animals. He loved me a lot, and the feeling was mutual.
When we finished visiting all the kids, our time was up for the day! It went really fast because everyone was so nice.