This week’s therapy cat visit was at the pair of assisted living facilities that are near our home. Because the residents all have some degree of dementia or Alzheimer’s, it always surprises my human when they remember us — but many of them do!
There were regulars at both houses who recognized us this visit. At the first house, there was the lady who always has me give her lots of high fives, and the woman who cries every time she sees me. At the second house, one woman remembered me that my human didn’t remember! The last time she saw us must have been a long time ago, before the pandemic. And there is also the woman who not only remembers me, but also my breed and my age, but who only visits with me for about a minute.
But the really special visits happened at the first house. One woman wanted to see me who never was that interested in me before. She was a large, mostly nonverbal woman with eyes that went in different directions. She spent a very long time petting me with hands that were heavy but not rough.
The other special visit happened a little while later. There is one man we see every time we go to this house. He is usually on the couch, dozing. His hands are always bound in these surgical mittens. My human has never asked why. She thinks anything going on with the residents or patients on our visits is none of her business. But she assumes it’s because he would otherwise harm himself or others.
Anyhow, he wasn’t there at first, but about halfway through our visit he came into the big living room where everyone was. And he looked at me like he had never seen me before, his face curious with a touch of delight. And slowly he walked up to me and stood in front of me while I was on the couch being petted by another resident. For a moment our eyes locked, and I gave him a slow blink. He knew what I meant.
I think it was one of my best visits there.