For my therapy cat visit this week, I went to the assisted living facilities for people with dementia and Alzheimers. When my human took me into the big room, a 1970s TV show called The Match Game blared on the TV while a lot of residents dozed in wheelchairs or on the sofas.
The first lady we saw was happy to see me, but she kept calling me a dog. Usually, my human lets things like this slide because, you know, dementia and all. But when the woman said, “This is the most beautiful dog I’ve ever seen,” as she petted me, my human said, “Well, that’s because she’s a cat.” Just to see what would happen. And the woman looked at me with surprise and said, “Oh, a cat! What a lovely cat.” And from then on I was a cat for her.
There was a sweet lady sitting next to her with no teeth, and she petted me too.
My human saw the woman who loves cats and the newer woman sitting on the same sofa, so she brought me over. The newer woman was quieter and more withdrawn than the last time we were there, but she was still happy to see me. The woman who loves cats was wearing a red sweater with a cat pattern on it. But she barely acknowledged me for quite a while. Then, when she did see me sitting next to her, she petted and whispered to me but she was kind of vague.
We also saw the woman who pets me with heavy hands, who has been doing better recently. But this day she had a bruise on her face, like she had taken a fall. She was still happy to see me and petted me.
Obviously, most of the patients were not having good days. But they were glad to see me anyhow, whatever condition they were in. We finished up with one woman who was happy and clear headed enough to chat a little bit. I connect with every patient I see, but it’s nice when my human is able to do that with someone too.
Some of my other pet shop visits: