I went with Mommy to my orientation yesterday for my therapy cat work, at an assisted-living facility. Some of the residents there are senior citizens who simply cannot live at home anymore, and some have medical issues (physical or mental). My visit was supposed to be an orientation, filling out paperwork, and meeting the staff. Well, all that changed when I was brought up to meet the staff on the floor where we will be working. The residents saw me, one of them said "Can I pet the kitty?", and soon they were lining up with their walkers and sitting in chairs so I could be passed from one lap to another! We were there a little over an hour, and it was wonderful! One lady, who had just moved in, was having a hard time adjusting. She had to give up her cats in the transition, and she thought I was her own kitty. She called Mommy and the staff member thieves when it was time for me to visit with another resident. The staff member had to pry me gently out of her arms! I'm glad she loved me so much that she connected me with her cats, but it was so sad. Maybe next time she'll have happy memories instead, though. One lady told us all about her mothers cat. Another one was seated in front of the fish tank, and I watched the fish instead of concentrating on being petted! That person thought it was funny, and at first couldn't figure out what I was watching, but then turned so she could watch the fish with me!
We are going to visit every other Friday. There's a dog who visits from DoveLewis, with their therapy group, so it's him one week and me the next. That way, the residents always have a furry friend each week. :)