Tenth Life Cat Companions
Bringing furry feline love to those who need it most
In July of 2013, Tenth Life
Cat Rescue kicked off a brand new outreach program called Tenth Life Cat Companions.
This free service engages trained volunteers who take temperament-tested cats to
clients in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community
support organizations to provide therapeutic petting and play time with the
cats. Response to the program has been incredible!
More than 1900 clients have been served by around 45 dedicated volunteers and approximately 12-15 cats. This adds up to more than 650 "man hours" of visiting! Residents report feeling calmer, happier, and more content during and after our volunteers' visits. We are so grateful to be able to give back to the very community that has supported Tenth Life over the years!
Our Goals for the program:
1. To allow clients to connect and build therapeutic, reciprocal relationships with Tenth Life cats
2. To enhance clients' quality of life through these relationships and the joy that they bring
3. To provide education to clients about Tenth Life’s mission, the importance of animal rescue as a whole, and how to best care for cats in our community
4. To allow Tenth Life to give back in a small way to the community of St. Louis, which has supported the organization and helped it to grow exponentially since January, 2009.
One of our clients wrote such a nice testimonial about the benefits of TLCC in their facility:
“I have a client who lives in Laclede’s Grove in the Alzheimer unit, she is 90 and is in a creative place in her mind. Her life is in her room, dining room, or bathroom, with little activities other than family visits. (She is blessed to have children that come every day to assist her in eating.) But, the majority of the unit do not have much interaction with the world. Our friends, the residents, look forward to every visit from the ‘Cat Friends!’ Such beauty and love and remembering happens, as these earth angels show up to place a loving cat in their laps. First, there is uncertainty, then warmth and relaxation, then smiles, then stories of their cats, homes, and family all flood out. Every volunteer has shown such grace and patience, they do not rush the residents, and encourage them to take their time and enjoy the encounter! Every one who is able comes out of their rooms to visit, and the hallway is aflutter with a community connection. Most importantly, those who are weakened are not left behind: Every room is visited and the friends stay until smiles are blossoming. Of course, the residents all want to keep the cats, and the friends that bring them. This joy and connection creates a sacred moment for the residents. I appreciate Tenth Life’s work, generosity of Spirit, and the gentle wise cats that allow these elder hands to stroke them. We love and appreciate the Tenth Life family and the joy they bring!"
Thank you to Julie Tristan and KSDK for coming along on one of our visits. Watch the video to get a better idea of what our TLCC volunteers do!