Summer the Animal Assisted Therapy Cat

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

Photograph of Summer cat

My name is Summer, and I’m a Love On 4 Paws Therapy cat. Yes, CAT, there are a few of us in the program too. I want to tell you about one of my recent visits to the hospital with my human.

The first patient was an older lady who was sitting at the little table they have in the rooms. She is a big cat person and recently lost one of her cats. She told me the story of how her son had brought that cat, and his sibling, home when they were kittens.

The next two patients spoke Spanish, but that is not a problem - if people love cats, they all speak meow! The first was a man who was going into surgery shortly. His family was delighted to see me and pet me, and the patient petted me too. The second one also had visitors, and he was a happy and cheerful guy. We only stayed for a little while. His wife asked my name and when my human said Summer, she told her husband my name was "Verano…" "Si, en inglés," said my human. She was so proud to show off she understood!

Finally I got to spend some quality time on the bed with a patient, a senior woman, and she was delighted that I gave her my healing purrs and happy paws. I curled up with her, and could have napped all day with her! The last woman I saw didn’t even want to see me at first! She said she and cats didn’t get along. My human smiled and said, "That's fine if you don't want to see her, but she isn’t like other cats." The woman motioned us into her room, and petted me and saw how sweet and gentle I was. That's one of the side benefits of my work - showing humans who don’t like or are afraid of cats that we can be really nice too!