Donny is his name. He is a grey-and-white tabby described as ‘the most charming cat in the world’ by North Shore Animal League America. What’s remarkable is that he is a certified therapy cat. He is a cat giving his time to help others when a lot of people might think that he needs help himself.
Donny is a bundle of uncoordinated activity at home but when he is doing his duties as a therapy cat he will sit still on a patient’s lap for as long as the patient wants.
As his human caretaker, Susan Smith, says, ‘this poor guy was born with a double whammy..’. She refers to blindness and cerebellar hypoplasia (CH). The latter affects balance and coordination. Cats with the condition get around but they struggle and fall over.
Donny provides therapy to elderly patients at hospital and nursing homes. They may have dementia and in this instance cancer.
Smith’s 88-year-old mother was in hospital with lung cancer and Donny turned on his charm and weaved his magic to help her. Smith says that he would lie on her mother for hours and they’d fall asleep together.
During this time there was a remarkable turn around to her mother’s prognosis. After undergoing five radiation treatments at hospital she was diagnosed as cancer-free and discharged.
Some people say that Donny’s purring and presence helped to cure her. You may have heard that the cat’s purr has healing properties. The frequency of the purr can help heal bones and tendons. We also know that purring is very calming and reduces stress.
Let’s say for sure that Donny did his bit in healing Smith’s mother. He provided a useful service as a therapy cat. The story has a lesson. You can be disabled twice over and still be useful; give, help and be of assistance to others who are in need of succour.
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