Pet Therapy in Treating Chronic Pain

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • A couple of months ago I shared my heartbreak over losing my two elderly kitties with you.  I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciated all of your kind and caring messages to me.  It really did help to know so many of you understood what I was going through.

    Now I'd like you to share my joy in the adoption of two new purr babies.  For the first month or so after losing Slippers and Jake, I couldn't even think about another cat.  But being a lifelong cat person, it wasn't long before I knew I needed another furry, purry little critter in my life.  So...

    I'd like you to meet Nugget and Patrick.  Nugget is the little guy on the left.  He is four months old, very loving and full of typical kitten energy.  Patrick, on the right, is ten months old.  He's very affectionate, though not quite as rembunctious as Nugget. 

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    Both kittens were rescues from the Humane Society.  My grandson and I originally went looking for one kitten.  We immediately fell in love with Nugget, who purred like crazy every time we picked him up.  But Patrick was not going to be overlooked.  First he climbed on my shoulders, then followed me as I walked around looking at all of the cats in the room.  Finally, he lept from the floor into my grandson's arms, as if to say, “Please don't leave without me.”  I knew he had chosen us.  So we ended up coming home with two kitties.

    When we got home, Nugget made himself at home almost without hesitation.  But Patrick was much more timid, hiding behind the sofa for the first day.  It turned out that he was terrified of the television and computer.  It had never occurred to me that those things could be a problem, but when I thought about it, it made sense.  Patrick had lived in the shelter since he was four weeks old.  While it was a very nice place – the cats were all in one big room with lots of toys and things to climb on – he had never been exposed to technology.  The flashing lights of TV and screen savers were very frightening for him. 

    After about 24 hours, though, Patrick began to venture out cautiously.  Once he got the courage to come out, he adapted pretty quickly.  Within a few hours, I actually caught him sitting on the ottoman watching TV.  I guess he had figured out that it wouldn't hurt him and the movement was actually interesting. 

    Neither of them are afraid of the computer now.  In fact, they think it's great fun to “help” me when I'm writing.  They love to bat at the cursor and sit on my keyboard.  A couple of days ago Patrick's “help” gave me quite a scare.  I had spent three days researching and writing a six-page article when he decided to sit on my keyboard.  I don't kow what keys he hit, but my document was suddenly the size of a postage stamp.  For several minutes, I couldn't figure out how to get it back to full size and I was about to panic since the article was due in a couple of hours.  But after taking a couple of deep breaths and trying to think logically, I realized he had somehow caused my document to zoom down to 20%.  Once I zoomed it back to 100%, all was well. 

  • As you can probably tell, I'm thoroughly enjoying Nugget and Patrick.  Their energy and kitten antics keep me laughing, which has the added bonus of taking my mind off the pain for a little while and giving me a little boost of energy. 

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    I still miss Slippers and Jake terribly, but I knew it was time to move on and give two more little purr babies a loving home.  I think Slippers and Jake would approve.


Published On: January 29, 2011