|Red Deer Advocate
By Jack Wilson - Red Deer Advocate
Published: June 08, 2009 10:14 AM
1 Comment Sometimes when youâ€™re shut in or lonely and need a companion, the soothing sound of a purring cat will turn your day around, says the president of a cat rescue group.
Stacy Worobetz said the non-profit Whisker Rescue Society is launching a new program geared for senior citizens and senior cats.
Interested seniors who can handle a cat will be supplied free the animal, food, litter, blankets, toys and any medical bills, if necessary.
And if the match doesnâ€™t work out, the year-old society will take the cat back, Worobetz said.
â€œMost seniors just love them,â€ Worobetz said. â€œMany seniors are scared because they donâ€™t know if theyâ€™ll be in a hospital and how long they can keep them.
â€œThey may not have long-term commitments. This will be perfect for them.â€
Mary Ross, an 81-year-old living in a complex that allows pets, said her cat Maggie is a constant companion.
â€œMy husband died a few years ago and without Maggie Iâ€™d be lonely.
â€œSheâ€™s a blessing and loves me for just who I am and the way I treat her.
â€œMaggie calms me down and sleeps at the foot of my bed, helping keep my feet warm,â€ Ross laughs.
Worobetz said some seniors may be moving and have to give up their cats so the society will welcome the cats because they may be able to match them up with other seniors.
â€œA lot of times people looking for a cat in general want young animals and the cats say eight (years) or older have a less chance of adoption.
â€œIf someone canâ€™t take care of them after getting one, we can take them back right away.
â€œSenior cats are usually calm and quiet, unlike young cats, which are full of vim and vinegar,â€ she laughed.
Worobetz said itâ€™s been proven that cats have a calming impact on seniors.
â€œTheyâ€™ve been linked to promoting good health and lower blood pressure when a person can just sit and mediate with a cat near them purring or sleeping peacefully.â€
The society plans to promote the program through posters at various pet stores and place it on their website.
The society needs to find out what seniors lodges and apartments designed for seniors accept animals so posters can be displayed.
Worobetz, who confesses to having â€œseveralâ€ of her own cats, said children of the seniors will hopefully see the benefit of a cat and link their parents with the program.
Whisker Rescue also matches cats with people and takes in strays, homeless or surrendered cats.
The society has a barn buddy program that looks for a farm or acreage that can supply a warm building with fresh food and water daily for cats that canâ€™t be placed in homes.
The cats are free and all are neutered and vaccinated.
Another program is the feline leukemia project that matches cats that have tested for feline leukemia with cats that already have the disease.
The disease canâ€™t be spread to other animals or humans, Worobetz said.
Whisker Rescue works closely with the Deer Park Vet Hospital and the Piper Creek Vet Hospital and Petsmart.
Adoption fees are $125 and include a check by a vet, vaccines, neutering and a tattoo or microchip.
The seven-member board is full but volunteers are needed sometimes to just sit and visit with the cats.
For more information, go to www.whiskerrescue.com on the Internet or call 403-342-7298 and leave a message.