A nuzzle and a cuddle - furry therapist Teddy is smiles ahead
PUBLISHED: 16:43 10 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:43 10 April 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
Purrrfect furry friend, Teddy, has become the first qualified therapy cat in Norfolk.
As every cat owner knows, a loving nuzzle and a cuddle can often be enough to stave off the stresses of the day.
Now, Teddy’s curative qualities have been certified by a medical professional.
The seven-month-old Caister cat has been carefully raised by owner Caroline Graham to offer calming companionship for elderly people, children with special needs and people living with dementia.
By introducing Ted to a variety of routines from an early age, such as travelling by car and visiting new environments, he has developed an unusually placid and predictable personality.
Consequently, Teddy has grown accustomed to the lifestyle of a therapy cat and can provide comfort to a host of people in need, without becoming overawed by excessive attention, potential rough handling and loud noises - he is even comfortable in water.
Teddy has also learned commands, such as “no” and “come on” and will sit, stand and offer a paw.
Miss Graham said: “He’s very, very placid. He will come and sit on your lap, you can stroke him, you can play with him and he would never hurt you.
“Teddy can help in many different ways with lots of different age groups. He can help people with dementia remember nostalgic times and he can help release the happy hormone and you can see that he always makes people smile.”
In order to qualify as a therapy cat, Teddy had to be assessed by a professional, and Raul Sanchez of Anchorage Veterinary Practice in Acle, officially declared Teddy as the first qualified therapy cat in Norfolk last month.
Schools, care homes, private properties and hospitals have already enquired after Teddy’s services.
On top of this, Teddy also visits the Never Turn Back pub in Caister every Friday afternoon, where they also host a monthly fundraiser.
The money will go towards acquiring a property - the final hurdle preventing Miss Graham from opening a cat lounge in the village.
Darling Darlings Cat Lounge will provide a place where people can enjoy coffee, cakes and the company of rescue cats; naturally, Teddy will also be a regular visitor.
For more information, visit Darling Darlings Cat Lounge’s Facebook page.