Actually the title to today’s post is misleading — there is no such thing as a typical therapy cat day. But I did visit one of my regular hospitals yesterday, and I can tell you how that went. And I guess it is kind of typical, although every visit is different.
Before we get started, I make sure my human remembered to bring everything we need. There are certain things that are in the supply cabinet in the volunteer room — Polaroid film for the camera, hand-sanitizing wipes. But other things, like cat treats, need to be brought in.
After the hospital lobby, the first place we go is the volunteer room. My human needs to sign us in, and pick up supplies if we are getting low. She also signs us out at the end of our visit. We were the only team today, so I was allowed to wander the room as I wanted. If there is a dog team working with us, then my human keeps hold of my leash.
Our first visit was also our longest. The patient was an older man, and he was delighted to see me, but once my human put me on the bed with him, and I began giving him my purr therapy, he began crying! He kept on saying how much he missed his cat. I could tell he was sad, so I tried even harder to make him feel better by snuggling more and giving him lots of happy paws. He cried for quite a while, though. That’s why our visit was so long. My human and I knew he really needed my kitty energy, so we stayed with him.
(Here is something interesting — only twice so far have patients cried when I’ve visited with them… and they’ve both been men.)
We had several other really nice visits with patients too, and even the ones who didn’t want a visit from me that day, smiled when they saw me. I think I’ve mentioned before that it’s just as important to visit with staff and family members as it is with patients. I did a lot of visiting with nurses today. That’s pretty usual for me. But at the end, I visited for a while with a guy whose shirt said Housekeeping on it. He had a long story about his own cat. When his wife was sick, the cat took very good care of her. She knew when the wife was in pain and was always right there, giving her purr therapy. Eventually, the wife passed away, and the cat, who lived to be 20, is gone now too. But it just proves to me that all cats can be therapy cats, if the need arises.
See what I mean about every visit being different?