Pet therapy programs are a great way to help people with pets.
My name is Tank, I’m a 25-pound Ragdoll cat, and here’s my story. Nobody wanted to adopt a huge 8-year old cat, and the card on my cage at the shelter said I was due to go to heaven the very next day. I was pretty scared, as you can imagine. I remember lying in this cage that was way too small for me, when a lady approached me. I meow'd and meow'd, batted my big blue eyes and begged her to take me home. I guess she felt sorry for me, because the next thing I knew, I was being placed in a carrier, and off I went to my new home, a 150-mile car ride away. Mom told me she drove all that way just for me. I never had much experience riding in a car, and I didn't like it very much at first, but now I love it. I go on road trips with my brother Elvis, a Yellow Labrador Retriever, who is a Therapy Dog. We've seen some remarkable sites; the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Vancouver Island, and many more; traveling in an old VW camper bus. My last trip was 6 weeks long, and we visited 21 states. I look forward to our trips because I know every morning Mom will take me out on my leash to experience a new adventure with new smells. I'm never allowed outside without my leash. She tells me outside cats only live an average of 3 years, so I'm very careful not to break the rules.
I thought I was just a normal cat, but Mom told me I have some special qualities. I’m very calm, never scratch, bite or hiss, love cuddles and pets, purr immediately when someone shows me affection, and anyone can pick me up and hold me. She told me I’d be a perfect therapy cat. “Therapy cat”, I said. “What is that? “ I was soon to find out. After passing a rigorous testing process, I became a certified therapy cat with Love on 4 Paws in Los Angeles. That was two years ago. I’m now 12 years old, and I love my job. I visit hospitals, senior homes, schools for special needs children, and any place where folks need a little love. I even go to colleges during finals week to help de-stress the students. The staff and nurses love me. They make special requests for me to visit. My job is so rewarding, and because of my pet therapy work, I'm somewhat of a star. I was asked to pose for a diet cat food commercial. Mom told them I wasn't fat, just big boned, but they took me, anyway. You may see me in an upcoming commercial. I have to tell you, though; my most rewarding experience has been putting smiles on the faces of those who need a little cheering up. Mom brings me in a stroller and everyone smiles and laughs when they see rolling in. I'm so happy doing what I do. I get hugs and pets from everyone I meet. This is the purrrfect job for a cat like me.