I had a very big therapy visit today! My visits up to now mainly involved going to a hospital and visiting with one patient and maybe their family. But this time, I went to a school for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There were six different classrooms, two each of elementary, middle school, and high school kids. In each classroom, I spent 15 minutes visiting the kids who wanted to meet me. It was quite a morning!
The children had many different levels of ability and cognizance. Most of them were happy to meet me. Some needed help petting me, and they probably got more out of just touching me than really interacting with me. A few kids were frightened of me! But after watching everyone else touching me and seeing how polite I was, most of them wanted to pet me.
The most fun kids were the elementary and middle school kids! The great thing about being a kitty is you speak a universal language, and lots of kids who are considered “disabled” understand you. The high school kids were the hardest for me because they were big and some of them were loud. But some of them were really nice and asked lots of questions about me too.
The adults and my human were all very watchful to make sure the kids were gentle with me and nobody harmed me. Some kids didn’t know how to be gentle, but they weren’t mean — they just didn’t know better, and maybe didn’t fully understand I was a living creature. So the grown-ups worked with them, sometimes holding their hands to touch me nicely so they could still experience me. Same with the kids who couldn’t use their arms and hands well — with a grown-up’s help, they could still experience the softness of my fur. One boy wanted to grab me, and my human leaned against him in a way so he could still feel me, but not grasp too hard.
The last classroom was middle school kids, and one of the newer boys had a meltdown, screaming that he was allergic and hiding from me! The grownups put my human and me in a different part of the room for the other kids while they worked on calming him down. By the end of my visit there, not only had he calmed down, he wanted to meet me! But he wasn’t allowed to touch me. Later on, we found out that at most he is mildly allergic to dogs and cats… he was just having a bad moment.
It was a little bit scary being faced with so many unpredictable children in an hour and a half, but I hung in there and did not try to run away. In fact, most of the time, I just sat with the children and my human. I knew that if I felt insecure, I could lean on my human and she would protect me. I was even brave enough to eat treats out of a couple of children’s hands, and I did a high five in one classroom. I was pleased to hear that quite a few of the kids had kitties at home.
I will tell you something funny: when we got home, my human was drained but I bounced right back! Because I was such a good kitty, I got a special treat: some turkey from a sandwich my breeder gave my human over the weekend! And I got told over and over again what a great job I did.
You are a very brave and beautiful kitty, Summer!
The work that you and your human are doing is so very kind.
Wow Sparkle, what a brave and trusting therapy kitty you are. i bet you were the highlight of many of those children’s day or even their week. And I bet the adults enjoyed your visit too.
The Dash Kitten Crew says
Summer and Human, you two are absolutely the best. Well done, and credit to your Human for trainng you so well!
Lola and Lexy says
Summer, Mommy LOVED reading this to us! She works with people with developmental disabilities and she just loves that you and your human took the time to care enough about these children to visit and help them. Thank you so much for that. You are a true professional and Mommy says she would hire you any day!
Summer, you and your mom are class acts. Simply amazing.
Way to go, Summer. What an amazing experience that must have been for so many of those children. You and your human are doing such awesome work. Paws up and hugs to you both!
Spitty the Kitty says
We are very proud of you Summer! The Human is a teacher and although the students she works with are not kids with disabilities, she can still see how excited they get–even teenagers!–when someone brings a pup or a kitty around. They just LOVE it and we think it probably meant even more to kids who might not have so many joyful days at school. But I have to say: Better you than me!
Cathy Keisha says
That sounds so frightening especially the loud ones. Sometimes kids run down the hall and that scares me. Did you know TW was reading a story in the paper to me about a funeral home owner who brought his dog to work with him to help the mourners. You could be a Goth cat doing that.
William's kith & kin says
Summer, that is a wonderful story. We think that your human deserves a treat too!
Andrea and the Celestial Kitties says
Summer, you are a true ambassador! What a wonderful girl you are! I wish you were near me so you could visit my rehab! Of course, I might not let you leave! 😉 Keep up the great work, darling girl!
Melissa, Mudpie & Angel Truffles says
You are such a brave kitty, Summer. I would’ve been exhausted after a day like that too. It sounds incredibly stressful.
Maxwell, Faraday & Allie says
Faraday: *flattened ears* SCREAMING CHILDREN?!?!??! Soooo glad our human does NOT HAVE ANY OF THOSE.
You’re a star!! Bravo for being patient and calm with unpredictable kids!!
Mary McNeil says
Wow summer – great job !
Caren Gittleman says
That is a beautiful thing that your human and you did Summer. My Dad taught Middle School (Special Ed), in the Inner City of Detroit for 36 years……………he came home wiped out like your Human EVERY day. It sure isn’t easy and teachers should be paid like professional athletes are, just sayin………..Love, Cody
This is so pawsome, Summer! I’m glad that you had this opportunity even though it was a handful for you and your human. My degree is in Special Education with Cognitive Impairments and I’ve spent a lot of time with people like these. They are great people when you get to know them. I can bet that meeting you was an experience that they will be thinking about for a long time. You may have even inspired them to love kitties! Thank you for the hard work you did in reaching these people. 🙂
Wow that was amazing Summer!!! We are so proud of you!
Congratulations, Summer on being so brave! That sounds like quite an exciting sort of day. Glad that everything worked out well for you and your human.
Oh Summer, you are such a good cat. Don’t know many cats that could have put up with all those children. You really did a good job.
You are truly an exceptional cat and your human has the beginnings of another career as a cat whisperer – helping other humans help their cats be all that they can be…
Random Felines says
we are so proud of you and your human….we bet these take a lot out of you, but you are showing kids that cats are wonderful pals
Nancy Davis says
Wow, Summer! You are one cool cat, and such a generous heart have you and Humommy.
You were and are a blessing to so many people, young and old, abled and not so much abled, Summer! Our petcretary works in a nursing home and she loves it when there are animals visiting, the pets and the therapy ones. Sometimes there even are kitties, but none like you, doing visits.
That definitely was a huge challenge, children can be loud and unpredictable. It sounds like you handled it like a pro, we’re super proud of you abd your human. I can imagine how exhausted she must have been. Pawsome job and thank you for sharing the experience.
Ellen Pilch says
You are a Saint Summer and I am sure you made many kids happy.
i’m very very impressed. i can’t possibly imagine any of the boyz being able to do that.
Such a lovely thing to do Summer!
Athena and Marie
Craig s. c. okajima says
It is great to know that kids, everywhere from elementary school through high school students, have the pleasure of meeting you!
Hopefully, this shows more people, especially young MALES, that cats ARE very pretty!!
Emma and Buster says
Oh Summer what a brave kitty you were and how perfectly you handled your calling. You really have the temperament to become a therapy kitty. Well done sweetie and we are glad to hear you got treats too. Tell your human to take extra rest and chamomille tea.
Wow Summer! That was quite an adventure! Those kids could be so unpredictable but we’re glad you went and taught them how special kitties are! Our mommy would’ve been a basket case after all that so can understand how drained your human was. Kudos to both of you for all you’re doing!
toby & Leia says
Summer, we have no doubts that you changed some lives with this visit.
Oh Summer bravo bravo to you and kudos for your bravery under unusual circumstances.
Mom said she would have been drained too. She likened the experience with visiting with my Grandma when she was in the memory unit of her assisted living facility. Every elderly person had different levels of memory loss and level of personalities. Mom said she would sit on the couch with her mom and others would join them and OMCs the conversations were off the chart strange.
There was a resident cat Remi who lived in the memory unit he was one mellow fellow
Hugs madi your bfff
The Poupounette Gang says
That is amazing, Summer! You are clearly a wonderful therapy cat!
The Swiss Cats says
What a great day ! You did a wonderful job bringing those special children some joy ! We’re really impressed on how you and your human managed that moment (with the help of the staff) to make it pleasant for you and the kids. Purrs
The Island Cats says
Wow, Summer! We’re so impressed to hear you handled your visit so well. We know those children really enjoyed meeting you.
Nicki and Derry says
A huge “WOW,” Summer! What you and your human are doing truly is amazing. ❤
Katie Isabella says
Summer, you and your mom make me and MY mom very proud of you both. That was a great challenge and you came through it like the Champion you re in every way. Both of you.
HaHnnah and Lucy says
We’re sure those young children would have enjoyed your visit to them Summer.
Mr. Chivers, Greyson, and Tabitha says
We commend both you and your mom. Most humans find it scary to be around others that are not exactly like them. You both are truly amazing and special. You give so much of yourselves. You make so many happy around you. We sure appreciate all you do. Purrs
Brian Frum says
You did an amazingly wonderful thing pretty Summer and I know those young ones will remember your visit with a smile. Bravo girl!!!
Summer you are wonderful and I know those kids will always remember meeting you……..I think you did a great job of letting those kids experience the beauty and sweetness of a kitty….instead of fear – even if it took them a little while to come around!
Craig s. c. okajima says
^^ Sammy: She is very pretty!!
It must have been quite scary for you at first, but you brought those kids great joy. You did very well Summer, and I am proud of you.
Mickey's Musings says
WOW! That was a big day 😮
You did very well and being a therapy cat is what you are good at doing.
Looks like those kids enjoyed having you visit very much 🙂
Purrs Georgia and Julie,
Treasure and JJ
The kitties of purring pines says
We know you brought those kids great joy! Fantastic job, Summer!