My therapy cat visit this weekend was a little unusual. Usually I see a variety of people with different reasons for being in the hospital. This time, all three were women, and they all were there because of something having to do with their legs. So you might say I did some leg therapy today! Although the main purpose of my visit, really, was to take their minds off their legs.
The first lady didn’t want to see me at all at first. She said she didn’t like cats much. (Where have I heard that one before?) But then she relented and said it was okay as long as I didn’t get on the bed. So I laid down on the floor while she and my human talked about me. My human assured her I was nice and didn’t bite or scratch. After a few minutes, the lady noticed how patiently I was lying down on the floor, and said I could come up and sit by her feet. She put her sore leg on a pillow and my human put a sheet over her feet so I could lie down there. Then I did my happy paws next to her sore leg and purred. Although the lady was still kind of scared to pet me, she still thought I was pretty cool!
The next woman held out her arms the moment she saw me! She was totally a cat person and has two of her own at home. I instantly went into healing kitty mode with her. She said that therapy dogs were okay, but she’d really rather see a cat. My human agreed, and said that was why she worked with me as a therapy cat — she was “paying it forward.”
The third lady was Spanish speaking and didn’t know any English. So my human told her, “Se habla Meow,” and that was fine with her! She was missing part of one leg, and what was there was wrapped in bandages. But she easily moved around on the bed and sat up. My human put out the sheet for me and I spent a lot of time with this woman. Lately my human has been training me with something she calls “awkward holding,” and it really helped here. What my human does is hold me in ways that aren’t necessarily comfortable for me and gives me a treat while I’m being awkwardly held. She is working on having me be less squirmy. Well, this lady did a lot of awkward holding of me! But I was pretty patient with her, and happy to be of service.
These three women all needed some quality time with me, and they were all on the sixth floor. We actually have three floors that we can visit on Sundays, but we never did leave the sixth floor. Sometimes it happens that way, when you are the only therapy team, like we were on this visit. I’m always a little sad when we can’t do more visits, but my human is careful about only letting me stay for the allotted time. She doesn’t want me getting burned out or too tired. I guess quality time is better than going through all three floors and finding only empty beds or sleeping patients. That’s happened a couple of times too.