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Cat visit to nursing home

pumpkin65pumpkin65 Registered User Posts: 361 Member
edited October 2010 in Parent Cafe
I know there are a lot of cat owners on this board, so I thought I would get some perspective on this.

In early July, I took in my aunt's 3 cats because she was hospitalized indefinitely. Several people here helped me with my new found litter woes. My aunt's condition has deteriorated significantly. She can't see well, so she can't read or watch tv. She can barely sit up. She is lucid sometimes, and hallucinates others - but the hallucinations are things we can work around - we just go along with them. She talks a lot about being with her cats again.

The nursing home allows pet visits. One of the cats is a very docile 20+ year old siamese who is in remarkably good health. She might be deaf, but I am pretty sure her vision is good because she can jump on things, and she finds me wherever I am to cuddle.

My parents think a visit from a cat would cheer her up. The siamese is the only one I think would behave enough to visit.

What do you think about this from the CAT'S perspective? Is this just terrifying?
Post edited by pumpkin65 on

Replies to: Cat visit to nursing home

  • SamuraiLandsharkSamuraiLandshark Registered User Posts: 3,425 Senior Member
    I am not sure. Depends on how freaked out your kitty is after going to the vet or travelling in a cat carrier.

    I bet the residents would LOVE a visit from pets!

    We have a couple of new kittens, and I can see one of them being up for that kind of visit. The other one, not so much.

    It's a great idea. Let us know what you do and if it worked out well.
  • pumpkin65pumpkin65 Registered User Posts: 361 Member
    I've never met a cat that liked a carrier...we live 20 minutes from 'the home'. So, she will be a bit unhappy.

    It seems a little self indulgent to me. I know some animals are 'therapy' animals - they may be accustomed to this.

    I guess once can't really hurt though...and it may only be once because she may not live very long.

    The cats were her life.
  • SequoiaSequoia Registered User Posts: 1,651 Senior Member
    When I need to take one of my cats to the vet, I put the carrier in the passenger seat next to me. Maybe this would help the Siamese, she would be able to see you (if your carrier has a view window on the side). She knows you now, as you mentioned that she seeks you out to cuddle. Seeing you would comfort her. At stoplights you could touch and stroke her head a bit. 20 minutes isn't so bad.
    It would be nice for your aunt to see her cat again. Also for the Siamese...this breed is so loyal and attached to their owner.
  • LasMaLasMa Registered User Posts: 10,847 Senior Member
    I've never had a cat who liked riding in the car, but that doesn't stop me when it's important (so far, only to the vet in our case). IMO this IS important, so I think it's worth it.
  • lololulololu Registered User Posts: 1,414 Senior Member
    Siamese owner here -- yes they are very attached to their owners. To take the cat to visit your aunt will be doing both of them a hugh service. When our boys go off to school our two siamese pine for them. There is no other word for it.
  • pumpkin65pumpkin65 Registered User Posts: 361 Member
    Good...you are all making me feel better. My father is going to drive, so I can pay attention to her during the trip.

    We are going to try to prep my aunt today and tomorrow a little. She could get really emotional.
  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Registered User Posts: 11,570 Senior Member
    It's a good thing to do, pumpkin, even if it is a bit stressful for the cat. Both will benefit. I do hospital and nursing home visits with one of my dogs and I can tell you that the way those faces light up when they see her is worth any hassle involved. It will likely be even more special because it is HER own pet. Good luck to you.
  • pumpkin65pumpkin65 Registered User Posts: 361 Member
    Hi - I just wanted to report back about how this all turned out. I brought the cat in and had a wonderful visit.

    As it turned out, she had no room mate that week, so the room was open and completely available for us alone. I brought water, food, and a tiny litter box just in case. There were 3 other visitors at the same time (her brothers and sister in law) - so it was a little crazy but fun. The cat was good, and walked and jumped all over the room. I put her up on the bed a few times and my aunt was able to touch her and talk to her.

    The cat vocalized a lot, and the staff would come it to see her also and made a fuss over her. I think the whole visit lasted an hour to an hour and a half. It was completely worth doing even though it was a bit of trouble coordinating.

    The following week, my aunt moved in with a room mate, and her condition deteriorated so much that bringing the cat in would not have even been noticed, and would have bothered the room mate. Two weeks after that, we had to put the cat down due to severe incontinence. It just about killed me, but it was the right thing to do and she had a wonderful life and was fawned over during the last three months of it!

    My aunt passed away yesterday morning. I am so glad we did this when we could because it meant so much to all of us. It's a memory we will cherish. It really could have only happened that weekend because it was impossible after that.
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 33,234 Senior Member
    Pumpkin, thank you for sharing the story. I'm sitting on the bus all teary eyed after reading your post. I'm sure they will see each other again on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge very soon.
  • sevmomsevmom Registered User Posts: 7,306 Senior Member
    Pumpkin65, Beautiful follow up and so wonderful that you were such a great niece to your aunt and helper to your aunt's cat at the end. I am not a cat person, have only had dogs, but was very moved by your post. So great that you and your family could get everyone together toward the end. So sorry for your losses. You seem to have been a very loving niece.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,711 Senior Member
    Thank you for sharing that. What a heartwarming story. sniffle.
  • icedragonicedragon Registered User Posts: 2,170 Senior Member
    My mom has told me stories of how my grandmother would sneak in toy poodles to see my great grandmother when she was in the home (she was a poodle breeder and was missing them terribly).

    The nurses could never figure out why after a visit she would be doing much better then she was before.

    Quiet poodle + large purse = a good day for her.
  • blankmindblankmind Registered User Posts: 2,266 Senior Member
    pumpkin65, that is such a wonderful thing you did. It's so nice to hear about good people doing good things, doesn't seem to happen enough these days.
  • MontegutMontegut Registered User Posts: 6,123 Senior Member
    Pumpkin, thank you so much for doing this for your aunt. You've earned your stars on your crown in Heaven.
  • MarinMomMarinMom Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    I'm so glad that I checked into CC today. This thread just made my week. Thanks for sharing, Pumpkin!
This discussion has been closed.