Tom the Therapy Cat arrived at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Salem, Virginia in May 2012. Since then, he has brought comfort to many humans who are sadly in hospice care and about to leave us.
Recently, a human was with his family and friends during his last days. But along with the two legged beings, there was a four legged presence. That was Tom. One of the humans visiting said that Tom had made many visits to this human, but on this day, he lingered, as if he knew something was different.
And it was. The sick human left us, but Tom was right there to comfort him and his family in his last moments. Right after the sick human left us, Tom placed his paw in the human’s hand.
The humans were very grateful. “I would never have believed a cat could have touched my heart like this cat did, but I truly felt like God was speaking to me that afternoon through Tom.”
Salem’s Medical Center got its therapy cat after one of the humans in white coats who works there decided to create a more homelike environment for its patients. And what makes a home happier than a four legged creature like Tom?
This therapy cat helps patients, families, and the humans in white coats feel better. Both the humans in white coats and the families of patients like knowing that a four legged furiend is there to spend time with patients, so that they will not be left alone.
Even when it is time to say the last goodbye, Tom’s presence helps. The human who lost her father said “I left the VA that afternoon with a smile on my face and love in my heart knowing that my father was now at peace and on his way to a wonderful new adventure and it was all with the help of Tom.”
Furiends, that is the ultimate compliment for a therapy cat. This human lost her father, but she was happy because Tom helped guide him to peace.