Mews and Nips: Therapy Cat Provides End of Life Care for Veterans


Tom, a 7-year-old rescue cat in Salem, VA, provides hospice care to patients at the VA Hospital in Salem, VA. Tom freely roams the hospice ward like a doctor making his rounds, nibbles treats sneaked to him by patients, and brings comfort to old soldiers and their families during an emotional time. When the staff first adopted Tom, they weren’t sure whether patients would approve. Now, it’s hard for them to imagine life in the ward without Tom. Families have thanked the staff for Tom’s calming presence. He’s even become the subject of a children’s book written by a local first-time author, whose own father died in the hospice and palliative care unit in 2012. For more about Tom and his amazing gift, read the full story on The Roanoke Times.

If you missed any of the stories featured on The Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: on Monday, we offered tips on how to reduce the stress of Halloween for your cats and to keep them safe and we introduced you to a new food bowl design by Dr. Catsby, on Tuesday, Allegra and Ruby reviewed a super comfy cat bed, on Wednesday, we told you about a campaign sponsored by Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Litter to leave cancer in the dust, and on Friday, we reviewed Clea Simon’s new book, Stages of Grey (and you can win an autographed copy.) And don’t forget to enter our giveaway for an assortment of toys from the new Jackson Galaxy Collection by Petmate!

I am impressed by the cat in today’s video – now that’s how you play Jenga!

Email subscribers, please click through on the post title to view the video directly on our site.

Have a great weekend!

Photo via The Roanoke Times

6 Comments on Mews and Nips: Therapy Cat Provides End of Life Care for Veterans

  1. Esme
    October 28, 2014 at 1:03 am (6 years ago)

    This is so true. There is something very relaxing about petting an animal.

  2. carol Anderson
    October 27, 2014 at 4:18 pm (6 years ago)

    There are only 2 comments and they are not me.

  3. carol Anderson
    October 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm (6 years ago)

    That is so wonderful! To allow a cat to freely roam the halls and visit these veterans is absolutely terrific. I know this cat brings such joy to them. Cats DO belong in hospitals and nursing homes. Everyone knows they lower stress and blood pressure.

  4. Meghan Finnegan
    October 25, 2014 at 7:16 pm (6 years ago)

    Pets really are such a comfort. It’s great that therapy pets are becoming more common – they provide a specific love and joy that only a pet can give.

  5. rebecca rushing
    October 25, 2014 at 8:45 am (6 years ago)

    I think they should have more therapy animals. There are so many settings they could be used in. Given the right personality, I think cats would be excellent in a hospice environment. Good job Tom!

  6. Summer
    October 25, 2014 at 2:41 am (6 years ago)

    Tom sounds like a really amazing cat! I look up to kitties like him.


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