Pets can make a house a home, and that’s certainly the case for a very special Blue Cross cat living alongside elderly people in a residential care scheme.
Libby was rehomed by our Hertfordshire centre to Fosse House in St Albans and spends her days spreading joy to those that live there, contently weaving her way in and out of rooms and snuggling up beside them in the lounge.
It has proved to be the perfect calling for the abandoned puss, who sadly arrived at Blue Cross in the back of a taxi, all alone and with no details about her past to help us understand her needs.
We soon discovered that she was pregnant and she gave birth weeks later. But while her kittens flew the nest to forever homes, poor Libby was left waiting for her second shot at happiness.
That was until the centre in Kimpton was contacted by Fosse House Manager Zoë Hiscox. She had recently taken on the role and was adamant that the presence a four-legged friend would bring huge comfort to the residents.
We agreed and just knew that Libby, who was in our care for nearly four months, would be the ideal candidate.
“We thought she’d be perfect because she was so lovely and relaxed,” said Rehoming Supervisor Kirsten Findlay. “She’s interactive but calming and affectionate, without being too demanding. She wasn’t in your face, and we thought that she would be the type of cat that would just sit alongside people.”
It was music to Zoë’s ears and within days Libby embarked on her new life as a therapy cat.
“She settled in straight away,” said Zoë. “Within an hour you would have thought she had always been here. It’s her attitude; she’s bolshie and not afraid, but affectionate at the same time. Nothing fazes her.”
Fosse House has 81 residents and is part of not-for-profit organisation Quantum Care, which strongly believes in the importance of pets in people’s lives and is open to animals living in its homes.
It’s an approach that Blue Cross strongly advocates as the benefits to residents are huge; the mere presence of a pet can help relieve stress and when people stroke them it can increase endorphins, making them happier.
“Libby being here makes it more like a home. She’s not all over everyone’s laps, but when the residents are sitting watching tele she’ll be sitting in the chair next to them. It’s comforting and more homely for them.