Meet Dexter the Therapy Cat

Normally, I share stories about special needs cats.  While I try to highlight diabetic cats like me, I will share the story of any special needs cat so that you humans can learn how even though we present challenges, we are still loving and fun furiends for the right humans.

Everyone knows that there are many health benefits for your humans that come with having a furry friend like me around.  Here are six of them:

  • Lowered risk of allergies and asthma
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Lowered risk of heart attack
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Pets help stimulate ill people to take better care of themselves
  • Having a dog can help humans lose 15 pounds a year.  This is why if my human gets a dog, Jacey and I are not helping him.  He will have to walk the dog by himself!

Dexter is not a diabetic cat, he is a therapy catBut did you know that there are some very special furry friends who can do even more?  They are called therapy animals.  With so many of us felines out there, there are naturally therapy cats.  Therapy cats are used to help stroke victims, reduce blood pressure, lower patient anxiety, increase sensory stimulation, and help children with speech, language, and hearing problems.

Some studies suggest that therapy cats are even better than prescription drugs at reducing blood pressure.  But don’t get a feline friend instead of taking your blood pressure medicine, because I don’t want any of my human friends to get sick.

In order to earn a therapy cat certification, there are a lot of things that need to be done.  I would never pass the tests.  One of the requirements is that we must tolerate being passed to three different humans, and then we have to sit in a strange human’s lap for at least 30 seconds.  I do not like being held, even by my human, and I don’t sit in his lap.  And of course we cannot bite.  Well, I play bite my human, and there’s no way I’d let a stranger hold me and force me to sit in his lap without doing something to defend myself.

Dexter is not a diabetic cat, he is a therapy catThat’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to Dexter the Therapy Cat.  Dexter is a certified therapy cat and his human Wendy is his partner.  He is one out of about 200 certified therapy cats in the United States.

You can see him here in a harness helping a human in hospice care.  Imagine having a friendly cat like Dexter come over to ease your mind as you spend your last few days in a hospice.  Of course, Dexter goes to other places to help humans feel better.

I hope you will visit Dexter’s Facebook page and like him.  While Dexter is not a diabetic cat, I am happy to tell my human friends about him so they can learn more about therapy cats.

Meet a Diabetic Cat’s Veterinarian, Part 2

Hello, my human friends.  I hope you are having a good day.  A while ago, I told you about the first veterinarian who took care of this diabetic cat back when we lived in Maryland.  That was when my human was first worried that I was a diabetic cat.  But that turned out to be a false alarm, and when I moved to San Diego with my human in late 2010, everything was fine.

Things didn’t stay that way, though.  I went for my first check with the veterinarian here in San Diego in the summer of 2012.  My human took me to Market Street Vet Clinic, where they had taken a look at my furiend who crossed the rainbow bridge, Pepe.  They helped Pepe make it over when it was time, and they were very nice and kind to my human.  So when it came time for me to get checked, he was very happy to take me to them.Market Street Veterinary Clinic - Where this Diabetic Cat goes

That is where I met Dr. Raffy Dorian, who is the veterinarian who had to break the news to my human that I am a diabetic cat.  Dr. Dorian studied animal science at California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo before getting his doctorate in veterinary medicine at the University of California Davis.  After earning this degree, he went on to earn another one in preventative veterinary medicine.

And Dr. Dorian has a great manner with us felines.  I do not like going to the veterinarian.  I don’t like the offices, and I let all the humans know this is the case.

When I went to see Dr. Dorian, I didn’t struggle or fight much — well, for me.  I let him check my heart rate and look at a lot of things before I finally said I had enough and took a swat at him.  For me, that’s good.

My human and I like the humans who work at Market Street Vet Clinic.  My human even has one of the vet techs come over to give me my insulin shots when he travels.

If you live in San Diego or within driving distance and you are looking for a veterinarian, my human highly recommends this place.  I of course do not recommend any veterinarian because I don’t like going there.  But this diabetic cat can tolerate them and that’s as good of an endorsement as I will give any veterinarian.

A Heartwarming Rescue Story

We are furiends of Tenth Life Cat Rescue, based in St. Louis.  I like to highlight not just diabetic cats like me, but other special needs cats so you humans can learn about how we may have special needs but we are still great furry friends.  Just like my human, Tenth Life wants everyone to know that just because a cat has special needs or is a little different, it doesn’t mean he won’t have a happy life.

Today, Tenth Life shared a heartwarming story.  It made my little feline heart just about melt.  Hopefully it will do the same for your big human hearts.

Chaos is a Wonderful Feline MotherMeet Chaos.  She was rescued by Tenth Life, along with her three six day old babies.  And two of her babies are polydactyls just like me!

Chaos has been at Tenth Life for about a week, carefully raising her kittens.  She has been a good mother, and her kittens are being well taken care of.

Today, Tenth Life got a horrible call.  A woman found a dead cat in her yard, which is bad.  But about a day later, she heard some sad meowing from under her porch.  The dead cat was the mother of a litter of six, and they were helpless without their mother.

The humans at Tenth Life weren’t going to let those poor kittens starve.  So they brought the kittens in, and since they were about the same age, they decided to see if Chaos would raise them as her own.  They put the box near Chaos, ready to keep the kittens safe in case Chaos rejected them.

What happened brought them to tears.  Chaos heard their sad meowing, and looked into the box, very concerned about what was happening.  Tenth Life volunteers put one of the kittens near Chaos, and Chaos scruffed that kitten and put it by her own.  She did that with another one.  Since those two kittens were hungry, Chaos fed them.

Not a Diabetic Cat but a Wonderful Feline MotherBut there were four other hungry kittens, and Chaos couldn’t get to them because she was feeding the two.  So the volunteers took the other four to Chaos.  Chaos quickly accepted the others, and cleaned and fed all of them.  After taking care of NINE kittens, Chaos was exhausted, but very pleased at what she had done.

In order to not exhaust poor Chaos, some of the kittens were taken to other foster homes where they will be bottle fed.

But the amazing maternal instinct of Chaos brought tears to the eyes of the volunteers.

It’s amazing what the love of a feline like Chaos can mean.  You don’t have to be a diabetic cat or other special needs cat to know this.