Thursday, December 25, 2014

Meowy Catmas, a Therapy Cat Tale, and a Sherbet Report

Heimdall writes:

Meowy Catmas, everyfurry!  We've been having so much fun over here at the PDX pride!  Thank you to all our friends who have sent Catmas cards!  Mommy and Daddy read them to us and let us look at the wonderful piccies when we get them!  We'll send out cards, too, but it will be a few days before we get them mailed.

I've been taking care of Mommy again.  She got sick and had to go to the ER, but she's doing better now.  I try to take care of her tummy, but she says purring on it doesn't help it heal.  She lets me purr next to her tummy, though, and that helps a lot!  It's a furry important job, and that's why I got a special Christmas bandana this year!  I paraded all around the living room, showing it off to everyone.

Tabby writes:

I got a new outfit, too!  I was so excited to get it; I couldn't even sit still for the picture!  It's a black & plaid dress, and it matches Heimdall's bandana perfectly!  Mommy and I couldn't go to H. or C. this month because of Mommy's tummy, but we'll be able to go next month, and she says I can wear my new dress on those visits instead of a Christmas visit.  That's ok with me, I guess.

I did go on a very important visit at the beginning of this month, though!  I went to Mommy's church in Vancouver, WA, to entertain kids whose families participate in the Winter Hospitality Overflow (WHO) shelter program.  WHO was putting on a health fair for the participating families, who are homeless and need assistance of various kinds (housing, medical, monetary, nutrition, etc.).  The health fair had information on free medical & dental clinics, food assistance, housing assistance, and hands-on stations with basic checkups from nurses, medicine checkups, manicures, massages, and foot-washing.  For the kids, they also had gingerbread house decorating, coloring masks, and playing with toys.  I was there to entertain the kids and take some stress off the parents, plus promote healthy interactions with animals.  I was very important!

Mommy and I took a taxi to the church, because we had to be there pretty early in the morning.  The driver was the same one who took us to the pet expo last April!  He was glad to see me again, and told us how his kitty was doing.  He even let us sit up front and petted me while he was driving!  When we got to the church, the lady in charge told us what we would be doing and I got settled in.  At first I wondered what I was supposed to do, because it was a totally new environment for me.  Where were the people crowding around to see me and pet me?  Where were the beds, walkers, laps, and chairs?  Why weren't people calling me over?  What was I supposed to do in this large, open space, with only two rows of mostly-empty chairs and some long tables scattered about?

It took me a while to realize that I was supposed to just be myself, like I do at home, and not like I do on a regular visit.  I was supposed to walk around on my leash, say hi to people, ask them for pets, and hop onto chairs.  Those parts of my duties and training didn't change.  But on this visit, I could also talk a little (as long as I didn't scream), play with the toys the kids put near me, and investigate things!  I'm usually not allowed to do those things on a visit!  It was fun; more like playing with JJ than being on a visit!

The kids naturally gravitated toward me.  Two kids in particular wanted to be my assistant trainers, because Mommy told the kids I was learning how to interact with people in this new environment.  The two boys shared me nicely.  The older one pushed me in the stroller around the room and got me used to being there, then gave me a nice chair to curl up in.  He sat in another chair next to me, petting me and talking to Mommy about me.  A lady with a walker came up, and I immediately switched into my regular visiting mode.  She has an emotional assistance cat, but she can't have her with her at the hotel where they were staying.  I visited with her, her husband, and their young daughter for a while, then the second boy came to see me.  He and his sisters had met me when the first boy had, but his sisters had gotten bitten by a cat in the past so they were leery of petting me or being close to me much.  The brother wanted to be sure I wouldn't bite or scratch, but once he was convinced that I would be good, he was my very best friend for the rest of the time we were there!

The boy held onto my leash just like Mommy showed him, and we walked around the whole narthex of the church, investigating all the windowsills.  It was so much fun, and everything smelled differently than my windows at home!  At one point, I walked under a rolling table and the organizer of the event had to get Mommy's attention to have her "rescue" me.  Mommy walked right over and called me to come out, and I came right back out.  All I wanted to do was have a nice nap in a quiet space, and that looked about as inviting as anywhere else!  Mommy brought my stroller over and I got in, taking about a half-hour nap while she visited with some people who were at one of the tables.

After my nap, the little boy found us again.  He wanted to have me help him with his gingerbread house, but I couldn't.  I did play trains and cars with him and the girls, though!  I think I was a bridge at one point, but I'm not quite sure, because sometimes the cars flew over me and sometimes they went around me.  I politely sniffed them, and pushed a couple with my nose, but wasn't really interested in batting at them right then.  The boy wanted to push me around in my stroller some more, so he, Mommy, and I walked all around the church and back out into the narthex.  Those two rows of chairs were still there!  I wanted to get out of the stroller and investigate them, because they intrigued me, so I hopped out and got pets from one of the other volunteers.  I then walked over him to the next chair in line.  Mommy told my friend that I like to walk from chair to chair, so he very nicely moved all the chairs in the line so they were touching each other, like a huge train!  I happily walked about three-quarters of the length, about 10 chairs, then got tired again.  Back into my stroller I went, while the little boy and Mommy talked about the functions of my harness and leash, my stroller, and my walking jacket.  After seeing me in action and walking around with me for that long, he had a lot of good questions!  He wanted to know why I ran out of energy so quickly, where my food and water were, did I sleep in the stroller, and did I have a home.  Mommy answered that I ran out of energy faster because I am smaller, my food and water were in bowls in the closet area, I do sleep in the stroller, and I have a home in a house with Mommy, Daddy, and the other kitties.

It was an exhausting day, but very fun!  Even the two little girls who were afraid of me were happy to see me and know now that not every cat will attack them.  I'm glad I made a difference for all those kids and people!

Sherbet writes:

Hello, everyone.  I'm still inside!  At the moment, I'm under the bed again, where I've been for most of the time.  I come out to eat, drink, and use the box, but the rest of the time I stay hidden.  It's a very different life from being outside!  A couple weeks ago, Auntie Shawnee came to clean the room I'm hiding in.  Boy, was that ever a traumatic day!  All those sounds, and wondering what was going on, and then a horrible thing happened!  They moved my bed!  They actually moved it clear across to the other side of the room!  I scooted out of there so quickly I was just a blur, bounced off the wall in the hallway, and ended up on the sink counter in the bathroom!  I'm still not quite sure how I got up there!

Panther hit my seat while I was trying to see if the window would open.  It wouldn't, so I turned and hissed at my brother.  He backed off when everyone told him to, so I hopped down and started for the living room.  Panther started chasing me!  We ran into the living room at top speed, so I looked around for the highest safe spot.  Seeing a bookcase, I climbed it, but it was full of computer parts that crashed down around me!  They and I were alright, but what a commotion!  Everyone in the household came out to see what in the world was going on, and I got out of there as fast as I could.  I ran to the other side of the fireplace and hopped onto the small table next to the end of the couch.  There was a nice pillow on it that I used as a bunker, as you can see from the picture!  This is where I stayed for the next hour and a half until everyone and everything calmed down.  Mommy sat in the chair and worked on a project, Daddy fell asleep in his chair, and the other cats went about their routines.  Dare checked on me and Tabby walked over to touch noses, make friends, and lie down almost touching me!  Both of them check on me under the bed now, as does Rori.  When there are visitors in the house, Rori even comes under the bed to hide with me, and we talk!  I'll come out when I'm ready, but it may be a while.


Hilary said...

Merry Christmas!

Cherry City Kitties said...

What great tails to hear for the holiday. Happy Christmas !

Summer said...

What a special visit, Tabby! It sounds like a lot of work, but fun! Sherbet, I am sure that you'll come around in your own time. The humans there have lots of patience.

The Swiss Cats said...

Meowy Chrissymouse ! Purrs

Cheri Wildcatwoods said...

Wishing you a wondrous and peaceful holiday!

Cats of wildcat woods

Flynn said...

• ★ Merry ★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★ Christmas 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚| 田田 |門| ˚And a Happy New Year from Flynn♪♫
* Joy to all! ♫•*¨* Peace on Earth ♪♫•*¨*

Cathy Keisha said...

Tabby, you’re a VIP—Very Important Cat. Wishing you a Merry New York Christmas! Enjoy!

The Island Cats said...

That was quite the visit, Tabby!

We wish you all a very Meowy Christmas!

Samantha & Mom said...

Merry Christmas and we saw you had some great Holidays! Lots pf purrs for Mom to feel better!
Samantha & Mom

meowmeowmans said...

We always love hearing about your therapy tales, Tabby. We hope you had a great holiday. Purrs to Mom to get better soon. Hugs!

Cupcake said...

Great stories, Kitties! I loved the therapy visit story. I too work as a therapy pet. It is fun, difficult, and very important work. Keep on attending to your mom's tummy. Kitties are good medicine. When Mom had knee surgery, I helped her a lot. She said the word, "Get your bony head off my knee." That's good, ...right? I said, "You're welcome." I don't know how she would've healed without me....

Love and licks,

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

GLad you are taking care of your mom, I hope she gets well soon.

The Indulged Furries said...

You've all been very busy on your visits and adventures. I hope Sherbet starts feeling more secure soon. And I hope mom's tummy heals quickly.

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

Sounds as if everyone has been very busy.

Jans Funny Farm said...

Happy Gotcha Day to Missy.

And Happy New Year to all of you. It sounds like you all keep very busy.

Beau Beau & Angie said...

Oh my Cod you had a big commotion! It was a good story and Sherbet got to have a discovery although it probably went by furry quickly. Lots of fun stuff!