Update for Aged to Purrfection

Update for Aged to Purrfection

Dear Aged to Purrfection sponsors,

As COVID precautions are still in place to protect the residents of Long-Term Care Facilities, the Aged to Purrfection Program continues to be on hiatus. That will be the case until visitors are safely allowed back into these facilities. On the bright side, our ATP superstars are still working on strengthening their social skills with stroller outings, even when some have endured medical challenges.

Two of our ATP ladies, Denni and Pepita, have been enjoying venturing into the great outdoors and have been reacting very favorably to their stroller walks, which are part of a new volunteer program called Curbside Volunteering.  In this program, volunteers arrive (one at a time) outside, at a scheduled time slot. A staff member brings them a cat in a stroller, and they take the cat for a walk around the property here at Tabby’s Place (outside only), park their stroller in Cherny’s Garden, and let the kitties sniff the flowers and watch the butterflies. Of course, not all cats enjoy this, but the ones that do like stroller rides absolutely love this new program. It gets them outside, gets them attention, and gives them lots of stimulation. Pepita and Denni certainly enjoy this program and keeps them in shape for ATP ventures in the future (see the header photo).

Pepita is looking great and has been thrilled to have her correspondent back for weekly visits. Her rosy outlook may also be attributed to her UTI (urinary tract infection) having cleared up and her being taken off antibiotics, as well allergy medicine now that the coat on her back has come in so beautifully. We are hoping Pepita continues to do well and will not require any further medical attention for these conditions. Best wishes on your continued health, Pepita!

I wanted to share what one volunteer said who took Pepita for a stroller ride said: “Pepita loved her stroller ride, and appreciated ME, too!  Every time we rested in the shade to “talk,” Pepita would push her pretty head against my hand through the stroller screen as if reaching for my affection.  The flowers were also her biggest fascination, and again, I backed the stroller in so that I could sit on the lovely marble bench and she could have a better view.  I finally felt like I had taken time to “smell the roses” myself, which was something I needed to be doing for MY soul….again, a “win-win” for both the human AND the cats!  In veterinary science, they speak about the beauty of “the human-animal bond.”  I did not realize that I needed this healing process both emotionally and physically as much as the cats did!  I am thankful for the joy of the stroller visits, and the bonding opportunity it offers.  To witness the content and happiness of these cats made me “smile with my heart.”  What a wonderful new program for both the cats and the volunteers!

Denni, our dignified lady who lives with her two roomies in the office of the Development Director, has had her share of medical challenges but never is one to complain. This sweet girl is hyperthyroid, has high blood pressure, and is now seemingly completely blind as a result of retinal detachment caused by these conditions.

As a true measure of her mild-mannered character, even when Denni would find herself stuck behind the office door, which was often left open with the gate closed for greater stimulation for the cats during the height of the shut-down, she would never cry or even complain. She would wait patiently for someone to discover where she had gotten to and set her free. She does find any type of restraint to be disconcerting, as would most blind cats, and prefers a free roam. The good news about Denni, in addition to her temperament, is that her medical conditions are managed with medication and allows our sweet girl to continue to live a happy, contented life with her officemates.

Your devotion to our Aged to Purrfection program touches our hearts and we will be so happy when we can resume our visits and provide more smiles to the seniors! Thank you for your generous support as we work our way through these unusual times.

Your correspondent,