Cat Therapy At The Arts And Apples Festival
Every year our city has an Arts and Apples festival ( Arts and Apples Festival ) in the local park that Kali-Ma and I walk regularly. So yesterday morning I packed up the pink polka dot stroller and headed downtown with Kali-Ma. What I didn’t know was that there would be Cat Therapy at the Arts and Apples Festival. The comfort of cats is an amazing thing and as it turns out, cats can go where dogs cannot.
Dogs Are Not Allowed
What a difference a week makes in Michigan. Last week Kali-Ma and were at a local Peach Festival (which you can read about here: Kali-Ma at Peach Festival ) and the temperature was in the high 90’s. We exited the car and saw people with sweaters and jackets as it barely over 65 degrees on a cloudy day.
As we approached the park entrance there was a sign that read “Dogs Are Not Allowed”. I thought we were going to be banned from the festival. The ladies taking the tickets took one look at Kali-Ma and immediately were full of “Oh my gosh how cute is she?”, “Can I take her picture?”, “Look she is a Therapy Cat”, “Look how calm she is just sitting there”…..
The line at the entrance was starting to build up so after some pictures of Kali-Ma and exchanging information on my website, etc. we were allowed into the festival. Kali-Ma looked up at me overjoyed by all of the extra love and attention by just sitting there being herself!
A Snooty Start
Kali-Ma and I strolled through the upper section of the park looking at the art. I was hoping to find an artist to paint Kali-Ma. It has something I have wanted to have done for quite a while now and I thought what better place to find it.
I approached an artist sitting in a booth and asked her “Do you do cat portraits”? She replied, “Do you mean commissions?” Now I must admit I know nothing about art and I am not an artistic person. I replied, “Yes I suppose I do”. She answered, “Well I have a THREE YEAR waiting list for my commissions but if you want my card I can find one”. With that enthusiastic reply, we strolled away.
Then a man approached us asking “What does it do”? I said, “Excuse me, sir, what does what do”? He replied “That thing in your cart. Is it part of an exhibit? What does it do?”. I said “It is a Therapy Cat. She is not an exhibit. She is a part of my family.” He replied, “Oh, how strange.” And he walked away.
Kali-Ma and I crossed the bridge to the other side of the park and I said a little prayer for God to show us why we were here. As at that point I was ready to leave. I had paid $15 to park and had just about enough of the Art and I hadn’t seen one apple. I stopped under a tree to adjust Kali-Ma’s harness and then it happened.
A very elegantly dressed and unassuming woman quietly stood next to the stroller staring at Kali-Ma. I asked her if I could help her. She then explained that her cat “Victoria” had recently died and she asked if she could touch Kali-Ma. I immediately unhooked the leash from the stroller and took Kali-Ma out so she could see her face to face.
This lovely lady’s name was Patsy. As she curled into Kali-Ma she was gracious enough to share with me her struggles and her journey. Her husband was in a nursing home rehab facility facing health challenges with kidney dialysis being just one of many. She could not get another cat until he came home. As it all that wasn’t enough she herself had recently just had a kidney replacement. On top of all of this, her cat had died.
As she stroked Kali-Ma, I held back tears for the challenges she was facing. I wished I had something more to give her other than prayers and holding my cat. While we stood there and people were passing us by, eating their popcorn, donuts, and cider, I wondered if they knew how blessed they were?
A Child Shall Lead Them
Kali-Ma and I continued on walking through the exhibits. Every few minutes I would hear a child say “look at the kitty”, “it’s a kitty”, “I want to pet the kitty”. I would look up and see that the child would be a long distance from us, but always headed our way. Children can always spot Kali-Ma in a crowd.
We met many children. Children that had dogs that wanted a cat. Children that wanted a cat but their parents were allergic. Then came a child with a Mother that worked at a local nursing home. As this lovely little girl was gently petted Kali-Ma her mother saw the Therapy Cat tag on the front of the stroller.
Her mother asked if we would be willing to volunteer where she worked, and I replied we have been looking for exactly that opportunity as we just finished out our last one. We chatted and it may be just what Kali-Ma and I have been seeking!
As always when we got home Kali-Ma immediately sprawled out and took a long nap complete with snoring. Three hours constantly being petted, adored and told how cute you are is a lot for any cat to take! LOL
Sitting at home, I wished I could have done more for Patsy then Cat Therapy at The Arts and Apples Festival. I literally began to make a list of all my blessings. Then I turned to Kali-Ma and said, “We have so much to be grateful for and we are so blessed”. Perhaps we all could take a moment for gratitude.
Until Next Time…Happy Tails to you!