about a month ago, my parents went thru a big change in their lives. they wound up being permanently relocated to a nursing facility because both their health situations had deteriorated to the point where my family trying to keeping them in their home was not a viable option. their needs were too great, and in the small town they live in, there was no nursing service that could provide them with the care they needed.
it was a harsh change, that really hit home with me when i went over shortly after their move, to visit them and pick up my mom’s cat Tony, who now lives with me (a post on him later). being in my parents’ house-that was like a second home to me-and seeing all of their posessions and the little signs of what had been their daily rituals broke my heart. i knew that this house and what had been their life in it with Tony had come to an end. the thought that in future months we were going to have to start going thru everything and “downsizing” my parents almost felt disrespectful. but my father had taken a reverse mortgage out on their home, and once it’s been vacated for 6 months, it reverts back to the bank. there was nothing we could do to stop that. (this big change for them still chokes me up).
one of the things that always gave my mom comfort, was her kitty, and of all the things that she would grab first while fleeing a fire, Tony was it. i knew it broke her heart to have to leave him, and it broke my heart to have to take him, but i was determined not to have her 15 yr old kitty wind up in a rescue of some kind. it wouldn’t be fair to him, and taking him in seemed the least i could for my mom.
the good news about the facility that they are now in, is that they have two kitties on staff! 🙂 this definitely seems to help my mom’s spirits and keep the lonelyness caused by her kitty missing in her daily routine, at bay.
i got to meet these two service kitties, as I call them, when i visited my parents shortly after their move. these two kitties are brother and sister. the thing that got me the most, is their tremendous cuddling and nurturing talents.
my mom had been at the facility about a week, and Stormy had taken up residence in her room for most of his days; sleeping with her on a regular basis-both thru the night and naps too! my father, who had just arrived and at that time was at the other end of the facility in a seperate room (my parents now have a room together), was sharing his sleeping arrangements, with Stormy’s sister Pickles. even tho he would deny it, my father is a cat lover and does enjoy their company.
upon arriving at the home, we first went to my mom’s room who was napping with Stormy curled up at her feet. she woke up shortly after our arrival, and introduced us to Stormy. What a sweet little guy! the markings on his face were unique and Stormy made it quite clear that he loved cuddling and affection. he eventually made himself comfortable lying down half on me and half on the blanket bunched at the end of the bed after my mom woke up. his motor was in full throttle!
eventually my sister and i made our way down to our father’s room, only to find him also resting. Pickles, who we later found out was Stormy’s sister, greeted us on our way. my sister and I observed and commented on how Pickles and Stormy’s funny little builds were so similar, and what were the chances of two kitties being so alike and not related? of course we later found out that they were sister and brother by one of the staff. the one main difference between Stormy and Pickles (other than their sexes and one was a torbie and the other a ginger patch tabby lol) were Pickles big golden eyes. unfortunately, at the time i took her picture, she wasn’t willing to accomodate me by opening them so that i could show them to the blogosphere at a later date! lol
while my mom is no longer able to share her days with Tony, she is able to share them with these two kitties, and it has helped to tremendously dull the ache of her loneliness for him. for this, i am truly greatful! when i call, she talks about these kitties, and playing with them. some of tony’s toys were left behind and taken to the nursing facility for her to play with Stormy and Pickles. ironically, they respond better to the play activity than Tony ever did. one more thing I am truly greatful for.
my siblings and i have even discussed requesting that the facility kitties bowls and other such necessities be moved to my parents room, due to the therapeutic benefits these two have with my parents. i haven’t heard whether that has occurred. i will have to check with my sisters.
it never ceases to amaze me how as a race, we continually manage to under appreciate, the magnitude of unconditional love our fellow creatures give us and the service that they truly provide us in so many ways. these two kitties keep my mom’s chin up, give her company and entertainment on a daily basis without expecting much in return, and it goes without saying that they provide comfort to my father as well.
and one last thing, there are a number of vets who served our country residing in this nursing facility, and i hear that both Pickles and her brother Stormy make daily rounds to many of these american heros as well as to the other residents! they also have an innate ability to sense new arrivals, and make extra time for the newbies, greeting them and giving them special attention.
i am so tremendously greatful for all these little kitties do! bless them!