September 27, 2015 (this is the last in a three part series; parts one and two are here, and here respectively).
Just as the words “make a wish” come out of my mouth, Lila* walks into the living room with the cutest kitten I’ve ever seen cradled in her arms. And I’ve seen a kitten or two in my days.
“Oh my goodness! Speaking of kittens, look Mom,” I say.
“Here’s a real live one,” Shirley joins in.
“Would you like to hold the kitten Patti?” Lila offers.
“Oh, look at the kitten, I don’t think it should come,” Mom sounds worried. She’s not afraid of the kitten, she’s afraid of hurting her.
“It’s okay mom,” I reassure her as Lila puts “Tache” on Mom’s lap. “It’s fine.”
“Is she fine?” Mom asks.
“Yes,” I reassure her. That does the trick. Mom opens her heart.
“Oh, isn’t she lovely?” Her voice softens and she starts to pet Tache.
“She’s got a mustache under her nose,” Lila says.
“She’s got a little mustache under her nose,” Mum echoes. “Isn’t she a cute little baby, the cute little baby that she is? Oh, she’s Mommy’s baby.”
A few seconds later, Mom lifts Tache up from her lap and lays her ever so gently on her chest. She continues to stroke her. I melt into a puddle of gratitude.
“Oh she’s a good baby. She’s an awful good baby that baby. She’s a good baby to Granny. Oh she’s a nice baby,” Mom coos to the kitten. The little black-and-white ball of delight is uncharacteristically docile. Other than her motor, which is purring loudly enough for all of us to hear, she’s as quiet and she is adorable.
“She’s so good,” I remark to Lila. “She’s so patient.”
“Yes, I’m surprised,” Lila says. “I’ve just brought her here in the car, and I had her in a laundry basket. She was rolling around and playing and swatting at my arm and I thought ‘oh maybe this isn’t the right time to come to visit.’ I’ve never seen her sit so still like this.”
“Oh she’s a lovely baby,” Mom whispers over and over as the two of them snuggle.
“I think she likes you,” Lila smiles at Mom.
“Oh yeah,” Mom says. “She likes Patty.” Lila, Shirley and I grin. Mom puts the kitten back in her lap. It’s too precious a moment not to capture; I flout the rules and take a picture.
“Yeah, she’s very fond of Patti,” Mom says. “Look at her in her soul. She’s a nice baby.”
Look at her in her soul? OMG. One little kitten = fifteen minutes of immeasurable love and joy that will resonate forever. Thank you Lila. Thank you Tache. Thank you universe.
This is the last in a three part series; parts one and two are here, and here respectively.
*Lila is not her real name.
it’s better to be queer on your deer than funny on your bunny on your birthday
put a candle on a cupcake and see if you feel as lucky as my mom
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I always enjoy reading your blogs and learn so much from you and your audience. Thank you. As for cute and cuddly ones; I agree that pet therapy offers so much to our loved ones. My experience with therapy dogs has been very positive and brings a beautiful smile to my seniors faces. In my private recreational work, I have the family members bring their dogs for a visit. It brings a wealth of happiness and time for reminiscing to my senior living with dementia.
Hope we can connect on LinkedIn to share a lot more each day!
Enjoy and many hugs to your mom as well.
Cheryl Croce, CDP
I think it would be great if long-term care facilities have their own “on-site pets.” I think plants and animals infuse joy into people’s lives no matter what their conditions. Great to hear of your success with therapy dogs – keep up the good work!
I too look forward to connecting further on LinkedIn where I’ve begun to post in the last couple of months or so. Maybe we could even have a chat via Skype…?
I’m glad you’re finding alternative ways for Patti other than just medication; it’s a strange world where we all give to charities to research ‘cures’ and then pay through the nose for the latest wonder drug which never quite cures but treats; treatment IS big business. Love is free, comes in the form of daughters, kittens and music and is the greatest treatment ever. You’re doing an amazing job and looks like the universe is handing you a new career. There’s a new training programme for carers, nurses etc piloted in Australia (I think) that puts the care giver in the seat of the cared for; it’s a toolkit; perhaps you have a tool kit of your own that you could roll out for the medical community – just sayin Wishing you well from Scotland X
Great to hear from you again. I’m strongly against the medication that is still being given to my mother and I’ve been fighting to have it withdrawn for the past three years without success.
However, I also find ways to engage her through love as you point out, and yes, it is the greatest treatment ever. Thanks for your ongoing support. Do you have a link to the Australian toolkit you’re talking about?
And greetings rate back at you from Canada XOX
I don’t know if I told you that my true love is with animals, and my overall goal is to bring animals and people with unique needs together. There’s a lot of missed opportunity to enrich the life of homeless animals by uniting them with people who need unconditional love and companionship.
Yes you told me, and yes I remember and it’s such a worthwhile and noble goal to have and I hope you realize it one day because it’s super important <3