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Photograph of Tank the cat

Please Note: The dog in the accompanying photograph is the subject of the story, but any persons shown are probably not those in the story.

You didn’t make a mistake. I'm really a cat. Not just any cat. My name is Tank, and I'm a 25-pound Ragdoll cat. You see, therapy pets aren’t limited to just dogs. Any animal can become a therapy pet. They just have to meet a certain criteria and pass a pretty tough test.

So, here’s my story. Nobody wanted to adopt a huge 8-year old cat, and the card on my cage said I was due to go to heaven in just 2 days. I remember laying in a cage that was way too small for me, when this lady came up to me. I meow'd and meow'd, batted my big blue eyes and begged her to take me home. I guess she felt sorry for me, because the next thing I knew, I was being placed in a carrier, and off I went to my new home. I never had much experience riding in a car, and I didn't like it very much at first, but now I love it. I go on road trips with my brother Elvis, who is also a therapy pet, only he's a dog. Mom taught me how to walk on a leash, and I'm never allowed outside without it. She tells me that outside cats only live an average of 3 years, so I'm very careful not to break the rules.

I'm now much older, and I'm a Genuine Therapy Cat. I love my job with Love On 4 Paws. I get to cheer up so many people. Even the staff loves me. They make special requests for me to visit. My job here is so rewarding, and because of Love On 4 Paws, I'm somewhat of a star. I was asked to pose for a diet cat food commercial. Mom told them I wasn't fat, just big boned, but they took me, anyway. You may see me in an upcoming commercial.

I have to tell you, though, my most rewarding experience is putting smiles on the faces of patients and staff. They just love it when they see me rolling in. Mom brings me in a stroller. I didn't realize so many people love cats. I'm so happy doing what I do. I get hugs and pets from everyone I meet. This is the purrfect job for a cat like me.

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    Love On 4 Paws, Animal Assisted Therapy, Los Angeles County, California, (310) 547-2200

Serving Culver City, Downey, Gardena, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Lomita, North Hollywood, Pasadena, San Pedro, Torrance, and West Hills.

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