I got to be an entertainer at the big hospital today! I went up to Pediatrics and the first couple of children didn’t want to see me. But then my human and I were walking past the playroom, and saw several kids, family and staff in there — and they all wanted to see me! The kids and family were sitting at a craft table, so my human sat me at a spot on the table and I did tricks for them! And of course I gave out quite a few high fives. I was totally in my element, even if I did get some paint on my tail. That was so much fun.
The other therapy cat, Josie was there, and she visited some other kids’ rooms while I was in the playroom. When she was done, I visited one room with a teen girl and her mother. Then we all headed off to Behavioral Medicine.
Three patients in Behavioral Medicine wanted to visit with me and Josie. One patient asked my human a lot of questions about me and what type of cat I was and my therapy work. I also showed off my tricks there too.
In case you are wondering, Josie and I are completely different in what we offer as therapy cats. I love being petted and doing tricks. I am very friendly and will walk right up to you on my leash. My human says I’m a little bit of a diva — not in a bad way, but in an attention seeking way. I love making people happy.
Although she is on a leash (we therapy animals all have to wear harness and leashes), Josie goes from room to room in a stroller. She doesn’t walk on her leash and she doesn’t do tricks. Her owner picks her up and hands her over to the patient or places her on the bed. Josie is very talkative, but if you are holding her, after a moment or two she will go limp and be a lap cat.
I’m more independent. I only like being held for short periods of time — then I get a little squirmy, although I am better with children. And I’m not really a lap cat. One thing both Josie and I do well is curl up on the bed and snuggle with a patient. I think we both know that this is a very important part of what we do.
Every therapy pet, no matter the species, has their own way of offering healing energy to patients. And I think that’s what makes each of us unique and special.
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