We asked Pip what it is like volunteering at the Berlin Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center.
These are his answers:
So what is it like to be a Therapy Cat?
Well, technically, I guess I’m there as a cat doing therapy, but I’m not a certified therapy cat, because I am too little to get my certification. You have to be a whole year old to try to get your certification, so I like to be called a volunteer cat!
Okay, sorry, so what is it like to be a “Volunteer Cat”?
Well, it’s pretty AWESOME! I have a lot of friends at the Berlin Nursing Home and I usually get to visit them one-on-one. Sometimes I just sit and listen to mommy talk because the resident just really wants a visitor to chat with, but sometimes I am the star of the show and the resident doesn’t care if Mommy is there or not. In fact, sometimes I think they’d rather I just get left with them for the day!
What do you like to do the most when you are there?
Well there’s these special treats that I only get when I am “working” so I guess my favorite thing to do is eat those! Sometimes I get to eat them because I do my tricks. Sometimes I get to eat them because the residents are feeding them to me!
And also my Grammy works there, so I love to pretend to take over her office and sit in her big comfy office chair!
How often do you visit the Berlin Nursing Home?
Well for the last couple of months I have gone twice a week, usually from 10am to Noon or so. I usually leave when it’s lunchtime because that’s one of the most important parts of the day! Or if there’s bingo, I definitely have to leave, because that is some serious stuff! There’s so many places that want me to visit now, that I might have to cut back to one day a week in Berlin, so that I can rotate in all the others!
So what do your visits usually look like?
Well, we check in, and get used to the place, go to the activities room and see who is there, and then we begin our work. We spend about 15-30 minutes with each resident that has requested we visit them. We can go on for about 2-3 hours depending on the day, so we can see 4-10 individual people, depending on everyone’s schedule for that day and how much we get to talkin’. Some of our people have PT or OT or appointments at the in-house hairdresser etc..
And recently because we’ve been doing so many visits, we started doing something new! Instead of visiting each room individually, we have the residents come down to the activities room and I show them what I was up to that week. Mommy hooks up her computer to the tv and we get to give a weekly presentation full of fun videos and photos and things like that!