I am really glad the temperatures cooled off below triple digits for my therapy cat visit! The high for the day was still 99 degrees Fahrenheit, and when we left in the morning, the car’s outside thermometer said it was already 91.
We therapy pet teams always have to make extra preparations during heat waves. One of the organization’s helpers always gives us a reminder call the day before our visit. This time, she mentioned that we should probably park by the wall with more shade, and to bring a frozen water bottle for me. My human left the frozen bottle in the car during our visit so that when we came back, enough had melted so that we had ice water.
Even though it has been hot here, I was mostly protected for my visit. My human had the car’s A/C running the whole time we were in the car, and of course the temperature inside the hospital was comfortable. The only time I was in the heat was for about a minute, going from the parking lot to the hotel entrance. And even then, my human went in the emergency entrance, which was closer to the parking lot.
And it was worth all the extra effort so I could visit people! We did have a couple of strange ones. One guy couldn’t speak English so he made us sit down and called a nurse in to translate. He didn’t understand the “therapy” part of therapy cat. “What about heart therapy?” my human suggested. “No, he’ll think it’s for his physical heart,” the nurse said. Finally everyone settled on a Spanish phrase for emotional therapy. After all that effort… he decided he didn’t want to see me! Oh well.
I did see a couple of very nice ladies. One seemed to know even less English than that guy did, but she did want to see me. My human almost passed her up because she was lying down and my human thought she was sleeping. She just couldn’t raise herself up, but when she saw me, her face lit up in that way I often see. So I laid down next to her while she petted me and called me “bonito” over and over again. After a few minutes of petting me and pinching my cheeks, she said she was done. We were able to get that visit in with barely a word of English.
Another lady we saw not only spoke English, she was very talkative. She wanted my human to put me on her chest. Usually I lie next to the patient, so it was a little strange for me. But the moment I realized it was all right to be there, I settled down. The lady was a total cat person, and she told us the story of her heart cat, and how bonded they had been. He died of kidney disease fairly young (he was just 11), and we could tell she still missed him lots.
After sharing my purr therapy for a little over an hour, we were done. Back at the car, my human left the door open with the A/C blasting for a few minutes to cool off the inside. She offered me some of the ice water in a cup, but I didn’t want any (just treats!), so she had a drink out of the bottle herself. Then she bundled me in my carrier, and placed it right by an A/C vent. She also placed the cold water bottle next to my carrier. There wasn’t one moment when I was uncomfortably hot the whole trip.
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