An animal shelter in Arizona needed an extra hand in caring for some newborn kittens. Kittens that become separated from their mothers at an early age have a very low rate of survival unless someone steps in to care for them. It takes a lot to increase the rate of survival. Instead of enlisting some volunteers, the shelter decided to seek help from a senior care facility. Two kittens, Peaches and Turtle, received exactly the kind of attention they needed to thrive and grow. Catalina Springs Memory Care teamed up with Pima Animal Care Center to develop a program that allows elderly patients to nurse kittens back to health. Check out this adorable and heartwarming story.
Love and Receive Love
Sharon Mercer is the Catalina Springs Memory Care Executive Director. She said, “To some, it may seem peculiar at first: Residents who are in need of around-the-clock care themselves, given the task to care for these young kittens. But there are skills, emotions, and needs that do not just leave a person with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. The desire to give love and receive love remains.” It’s so wonderful to see these patients caring for the animals. The look on their faces says it all.
Joy and Happiness
The health services director, Rebecca Hamilton, is the mastermind behind the program. She doesn’t only care for the patients at the facility, she also volunteers to give cats a foster home. Being a foster mom brought her a lot of joy. Upon realizing this, she decided it might be a good idea to incorporate caring for the animals into a program with the elderly patients. She hoped to take the happiness she received from volunteering and bring it to those living at the facility.
Everyone loves kittens
To her delight, Rebecca found her idea to be a great success. Everyone saw improvements in both the patients and the kittens. The elderly patients were asked to care for two kittens, named Turtle and Peaches. Shockingly, both kittens doubled in weight! Sharon Mercer said, “The kittens have given us the opportunity to nurture this human condition that lies in each and every one of our residents.” It melts your heart to see how much the patients enjoyed the task they were given. Who doesn’t like kittens?!