It is our delight to announce to you the newest chapter in my therapy journey: Daisy Mae! Her story is lengthier than you might expect for such a tiny ball of cuteness, so grab your favorite cat (or dog?), and settle in.
Back in September 2016, Ivan let me foster and adopt a tiny feral kitten from the Humane Society in Riverside. Feral kittens need extra attention and playtime since they still have a lot of wild instincts (like biting and scratching) to work through, so when the accident happened in December it quickly became clear that Franz needed a different temporary housing arrangement. Everyone was spending all their waking hours at the hospital, and that level of solitude would have been enough to drive even a “normal” kitty a little frantic. So a super kind friend of ours stepped in and took Franz (craziness included) to live with her family and their two big kitties. As the spring months passed by, we kept running into medical barriers to prevent us from taking him back. Initially it was factors like my compromised immune system and high blood thinner dosages, then the safety hazards of kitten versus wheelchair , and finally the uncertain transitional period where I was learning to walk on my own but wasn’t steady enough to navigate around anything small on the floor (much less small and moving). By this time we knew we were most likely heading for San Jose at the end of May, and had no idea what our final housing situation would be – or if it would be cat friendly. At this pivotal moment, Franz’s foster mama once again stepped in and saved the day by offering to keep him permanently. This brought so much happiness and joy to my heart because 1) I HATED the idea of sending him back to the pound or giving him away to a stranger and 2) I knew Franz would be super safe and happy with his cat friends and human family that he’d been living with for the past 6 months. Also, there was a good chance he wouldn’t remember me after that length of time anyway and would be upset by leaving his foster family that he’d bonded with.
So, backstory complete, we fast forward to the end of July, when one of my therapists asked about the possibility of my getting a pet. She believed the “therapy pet” would help me in a lot of ways: 1) it would keep me company during the extended “alone time” I was starting to face with Ivan back at work and my parents resuming their normal church activities 2) it would provide another layer of responsibility and challenge for me to handle as I continue taking over my old wife/homemaker responsibilities and 3) it would add a new level of stimulation for my brain to begin accepting as “normal” at home.
And providentially, that very same week I got to meet little Daisy. She and her brothers were being fostered by a family at Hillside, and her cuteness melted my heart at first sight. Reassured that she had a quiet, sweet disposition and was already being loved on and trained by her foster family and their other pets, Ivan approved Daisy as my new “therapy cat.” We waited another month till she and her brothers were old enough to live alone in their permanent homes, and she joined us this past Saturday. So far she is turning out to be the perfect blend of cuddly naps and gentle play (I am still on blood thinner, so absence of biting is important!), and she presides over my daily home therapy practice with interest but sans interference. Daisy and I also both sleep a lot, so you might say it’s a match made in cat heaven! Giving thanks for great things from this little cutie ❤