Basil is a therapy cat, a rarity in a field dominated by dogs. When she started 3.5 years ago, she mainly worked with seniors at various facilities in greater Portland. She recently started visiting the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
We conducted a brief interview with Basil, through her human manager (and Mom) Tina.
Q: Basil, being a therapy cat must be tiring. So many people want to pat you! How do you unwind!
Everyone wants to pet me – and I actually love it! I even let folks rub my belly if I sense that they’re really good. But yea, after a long visit, I get to go home and unwind. Mom makes sure that I have a good snack for all my work and then, if I’m lucky, the sun is shining and I can catch an afternoon nap and sunpuddle.
Q: How do children react when they see you?
It’s funny… it’s usually the adults who react more like kids when they see me! Grown up doctors and nurses get all funny but that’s ok because I’m there to help the staff just as much as the kids because they work so hard. The kids usually get great big smiles and a little shy.
Q: There are over 10,000 therapy dogs and only around 275 cat teams. Plus you (and your Mom) are one of the first nationally registered feline Animal-Assisted Crisis Response Teams via FEMA. You really are a rarity! One in a million!
Probably – but I still think that there are a lot of cats out there who could do this job. We try to get the word out that being a Therapy Cat is a real thing and we need more of them! It’s the best!
We belong to PetPartners.org It’s a great place to find out more or to get involved in animal therapy.