This past Saturday Kali-Ma and I returned to Medilodge Nursing Home. We had missed a regularly scheduled week of Cat Therapy due to my recent personal life challenges. Kali-Ma was more than ready to go and when we entered all the patients were joyful to see her return in her little pink stroller.
We have been there long enough that we are establishing a routine for our two hours spent there. At the start, we begin in the activities center. I place Kali-Ma on a large round table, and the patients roll their wheelchairs up to the table to pet her. She lies on a large blanket from home she is comfortable with. Sometimes, if Kali-Ma is familiar with the patient she will go right into their lap.
If patients cannot get to the table I cradle Kali-Ma in my arms and take her to each person for the cat therapy. I also take Kali-Ma in her stroller to patients for in-room visits toward the end of our time there. Two hours are a lot for her with all the touching, but I give her breaks. Every thirty minutes or so, I put her in her stroller for five or ten minutes so she can be in her ‘safe place’ and relax.
The New Patient
This week while we were sitting at the table a new patient was brought in. Her name was Mary. I was told she had a stroke and that when she spoke she didn’t make sense. Sliding next to her I started a conversation and I did not understand the words she was saying. They seemed to make sense to her, but to me, they were a jumbled different language. She was a perfect patient for cat therapy.
She began to stroke Kali-Ma’s paws. She really liked her paws. She took both Kali-Ma’s paws in her hands and softly stroked them repeatedly. I kept talking telling Kali-Ma what a good girl she was, as part of me was a little tense. Kali-Ma didn’t normally enjoy her paws played with to that degree.
Then Mary turned to me and said, “I wonder what they think”?
I replied, “What who thinks”?
She said, “Cats, I wonder what they think of us”?
I said to her, “I believe they are love Mary, just pure love”
She looked and me and nodded, “Yes, that’s right”
Then she released Kali-Ma’s paws and began talking in her own language again. No one else heard us. Kali-Ma came over to me and bumped her head to mine. We then continued on with our other patients. I took no photos as this was a private interaction.
What You Give – You Receive
I have had many personal life challenges in the past few weeks. That moment was the most treasured in my life I have had, quite possibly ever. It was as if everything was going on around me and there was only me, Kali-Ma and Mary – and the miracle of a few coherent words between us. It was a gift I will treasure in my heart always.
Kali-Ma is a very special, blessed cat and I am so fortunate that we found each other.
Until next time ….Happy Tails to you!
How do train my cat to be a therapy cat? Do you have something that would help me!
Hi Patricia. I just wrote a blog about it. You can read it here: https://www.tailsofkalima.com/cat-therapy-training-tips/ I hope this helps you and answers all of your questions. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. Happy Tails to you!
Another wonderful column! She’s a sweet and special soul.
Thank you, Sheryl! I always appreciate you taking time to comment.