Monday, May 14, 2012

A very proud Mum!

I fully accept that I could be prejudiced . . . all right, I fully accept that I AM prejudiced . . . but, say what you like, as of this week I'm an inordinately proud Mum!

It is now fourteen months since Chloe, my Bengal cat, started her 'work' for the Pets As Therapy charity.  Each Friday morning, after a quick session of tree-climbing to reduce her energy levels, we pay our weekly visit to the local nursing-home.  Here, although she has seven regular 'clients', additional, unscheduled visits frequently occur during the course of the morning.

Chloe adjusts her performance to the needs of the individual.  For the sick and bed-bound, clearly in the belief that they need stimulus, she is exuberant and inquisitive.  For those who are alert and sitting upright in their chairs, Chloe often chooses to perch in close proximity on a table, stool or window-sill from where she can blink happy acknowledgement of the unfailing flow of complements.
Does she have favourites?  Well, being a frivolous little girl, a frivolous little girl with a warm heart, is it so surprising that she rather enjoys flirting with the men?

All this I've grown accustomed to.  Chloe knows what she's doing.
But she retains the power to amaze me . . . and that is what happened this week.

Normally on our visits I carry her in my arms as we make our way down the various passages. This week, as she was wriggling to be put down, I let her walk.  With surprising confidence, Chloe trotted ahead of me on her lead.  On reaching the ground floor entrance to the lift, she sat and waited for the lift's arrival.  Once the door had opened, she stepped briskly inside and settled down for the brief journey.  On arrival at the second floor she trotted out of the lift, turned right and found herself in the familiar passage leading to Muriel's room.  Hurrying past a succession of open doors, she finally arrived, with an air of great self-satisfaction, at the side of Muriel's bed.

On leaving Muriel there were no doubts in Chloe's mind as to where she was taking me next. It was back to the lift, down to the first floor, along another passage in order to receive a warm welcome from Margaret . . . then on to Tony . . . and Sylvie . . . and John . . . and, finally, back to the lift to finish her weekly routine by entertaining the ground-floor friends who were still awaiting her.

If she was a little tired on reaching home, was it so surprising?
And if I'm an inordinately proud Mum . . . can you blame me?