I started off the week of Thanksgiving by doing a therapy cat visit! Mondays are not my human’s best days, especially in the morning. When we got to the hospital, she couldn’t find any parking on the lot, so after a few HBO words, she had to find a space on the street. Then we went in a different entrance and couldn’t find our way to the lobby at first. A woman who saw we were lost had to help us. Finally we got started. My human had to take a deep breath and put on her therapy brain after her rough start. Me? I was already ready to get to work.
We stopped in the waiting room on the way to Pediatrics and visited with a couple of women. One of them was bundled in a bunch of blankets. Both of them were really happy to see me, and I enjoyed visiting with them. One of their relatives has a service dog, and they told me about the things he does to help his human. He even gets the mail, and you know how most dogs just bark at mail carriers!
Once we arrived in Pediatrics, we saw a group of employees in the hallway talking. They were busy with something, but of course they stopped to visit with me! One nurse came out from the office — he was wearing a face mask, but he wanted a photo taken with me anyway. “My girlfriend won’t let me have a cat,” he said. “She says she’s allergic.” I am more than happy to visit with anyone who is a frustrated cat guy.
There were a couple of older girls to visit. The mother of the first one was lying on a daybed by her daughter’s bed, and she was so delighted to see me! My human put me on the bed, and I walked over to the mom and she started chatting at me in Spanish and cooing over me. She even picked me up, and I let her. Then I visited with the daughter. My human put a sheet down and placed me next to the girl and she petted me. She and her mother were both bilingual, so my human was able to chat with them about me and my therapy work.
When we entered the room where the second girl was, her mother was busy putting a cushion under her legs to make her comfortable. When she finished, my human put down a fresh sheet and I curled up with her. Of course I like all the patients, but some I like a little bit extra. With this girl, instead of just lying next to her and making happy paws, I actually leaned into her. I only do that with special people.
By the time we finished with these two girls, we needed to go to the Behavioral Medicine wing. This is different from the other visits. We go into an area that is locked down with a sign out front that says something about Caution: Escape Risk. Then we go into a community room and wait for someone to bring in patients. I’ve been to Behavioral Medicine a couple of times before. This time it took extra long for them to bring in the patients, so my human put down my gray towel on the hard wood table and let me get comfortable. One of the staff chatted with us about her cat while we were waiting. She remembered Tank, the cat who did therapy work for our organization before I came along. Tank passed away some time before my evaluation in 2016.
Finally the staff showed up, but with just one patient. The others didn’t feel like coming out. I felt a little bad about that because I knew for sure that if they had managed to get up and see me, they would have probably felt a little better. But it was totally worth being there for the one guy. He sat on a chair and petted me while I relaxed on the table. “My parents wouldn’t let me have a cat,” he said. He thought most cats didn’t like him. I don’t know why he felt that way — I thought he was a perfectly nice human. I had a nice time with him.
By the time we finished with the patient in Behavioral Medicine, it was time to leave. My human picked up some supplies on the way out. It was one of those visits where we didn’t see a whole lot of patients (although we did see a lot of staff!), but each one of them was important.
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