Friday, June 26, 2009

Pets for the Elderly

They say cats have the ability to make over 100 different sounds. I believe that’s true. We have a cat—just a common spotted, tabby but she is a dear, little thing and we both love her and spoil her, I’m afraid.

Our cat is eight years old and she does try to talk. There are some words she’s pretty well mastered. When we meet in the morning, I say “hello” and she greets me back. Just as clearly as can be, she says “ha-row.” She certainly can say “no-oh.” As well, she can say my husband’s name—“Al.” She always says “Al” when she wants something. He’s the caregiver in our house. He feeds her and cleans her box and takes her to the vet. I just get to cuddle her. (It’s because I’m in remission from Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma—cancer of the immune system.)

She hasn’t learned how to say “Bet-ty” yet, although she does know who that is. She also knows “chicken,” “rabbit”, “squirrel,” “coyote,” “up,” and “outside.” I’m convinced that she is very clever and I’d love to know everything she thinks about, if only we could have a really long conversation.

They also say that a pet is very good for the immune system and will help you to live longer. I believe that as well. When I was going through six months of chemo, just having her sit on my lap, stroking her and listening to her purr took my mind off my nausea and certainly reduced stress.
From what I hear, a lot of retirement homes are bringing in pets for their elderly patients. I think that idea is “purfect.”

1 comment:

  1. Aw, I miss my cat. I'm positive she had language skills and curled up next to me when ever I needed a friend.