Modern medicine does the bulk of the work when it comes to healing physically from an injury or illness, but no one can deny the value of animals when it comes to healing on an emotional level.
Susan Smith adopted Donny from New York’s North Shore Animal League of America (NSALA) when he was a tiny kitten and whisked him away to her home in Hicksville, where he joined the family’s other three blind cats, Ray, Cookie and Blossom, and their blind dog, Sabrina.
His sweet and gentle nature showed itself from the start, and once the family got him certified as a therapy cat, he started visiting patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and Alzheimer’s facilities.
But he paid special attention to one particular patient: Susan’s 88-year-old mother, who was battling lung cancer. After weeks in the hospital and 17 radiation treatments, as well as countless visits and naps with her furry visitor, we’re happy to report Donny’s “grandmother” is now cancer free!
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Donny’s still making the rounds at care facilities in the area to check in on patients, even strolling around during group therapy sessions to make sure everything’s running smoothly.
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It’s amazing how when he’s at home he’s a ball of energy, antagonizing his brother and sisters, but when he’s ‘working’ he will sit on a patient’s lap for as long as they want never trying to jump down, and then being passed to the next patient’s lap. Unlike most cats, Donny is very comfortable and at ease wherever he is.
Susan posts pictures of Donny working his special magic the Instagram page he shares with his four-legged siblings and the latest feline additions to the brood, two special-needs brothers named Ozzy and Weeble.
She posted the video below last month, explaining that it took place during one of Donny’s regular visits to an Alzheimer’s facility. The patient in the video said he didn’t want to hold Donny, but no one asked him if wanted to get down there and roll around on the floor with him. Which is exactly how Susan found him when she turned around!
“While we were at the Alzheimer Facility on Wednesday I asked this new member if he wanted to hold Donny and he said ‘no,'” wrote Susan, “but while I was packing up to leave I turned around and saw this. Be still my heart!”
Watch this heart-warming moment in the clip below, and share if you agree cats and other therapy animals provide an invaluable service.
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