It was cold, damp and rainy as Kali-Ma and I unloaded from the car and walked into the nursing home today. The activities director told me that on days like this it is hard to get patients out of their rooms, as some prefer to stay in bed and watch movies. So, we had very few people to see Kali-Ma, but we had another miraculous day filled with cat therapy conversations.
Miss Helen who celebrated her 101-year-old birthday two weeks ago (you can read about that here Birthdays and Cat Therapy) was the first to arrive. Kali-Ma immediately went to her, and it was as if they were carrying on their own cat therapy conversation. We are getting to know people now, and Kali-Ma is more relaxed around certain patients. I was even able to take time to visit with her.
Later a woman named Ruth came over and began to talk to me and pet Kali-Ma. I asked her about her family, pets, etc. She really liked Kali-Ma a lot. She would roll away in her wheelchair, but then she would keep coming back, stroke her, and smile. While she was away, the activities director told me that she never spoke to anyone, smiled, or had a nice word to say unless her daughter was there, or now with Kali-Ma. She explained to me how much it meant to have Kali-Ma come there twice a month and what a difference she made with the patients.
As things began to quiet down, I put Kali-Ma in her stroller and I went to get a cup of water. There is a woman who is on oxygen that has a room near the water tank who is usually in the hall. I didn’t see her, so I asked the nurse if it would be ok to go in her room. The nurse said yes and was overjoyed that we stopped by. The woman was thankful that Kali-Ma and I took time to come into her room. She caressed Kali-Ma and had her own private cat therapy conversation with her. We only stayed a few minutes, but those few minutes meant everything to her. I told her we would see her again in two weeks.
When I returned to the activities room, Bev, one of Kali-Ma’s favorite patients came in. We both had on University of Michigan shirts in team spirit for the NCAA final four basketball game on tonight. We sat and talked while she brushed Kali-Ma. She told me about her family, her life, and Easter celebrations that had passed. She honored me with the wisdom of her years on this earth. The time flew by so quickly that I was sad when it was time for me to go.
There are very few pictures in this weeks post because it was not a time for phones and photos. It was a time for conversations and sharing. I was moved by what I experienced this week beyond what I can write in mere words here. Each time Kali-Ma and I share our Cat Therapy and we are honored with an abundance of love and gratitude. I wish every day was filled with cat therapy conversations.
Until Next Time….Happy Tails to You!