Up Close With Shen
The tiny lady sat reclined in her wheelchair beside her bed, buried under a pile of blankets. She was usually a bright-eyed, chatty woman, and in earlier visits had told me with relish about her early days as a trick rider in wild-west shows and rodeos. Today; however, she was quiet and had little to say.
Shen, a 6-year old, rescued, Sphynx therapy cat, knew just what to do. He immediately rubbed his head against her face and cheek until her glasses fell off and she started to laugh, and then he snuggled under her chin, purring loudly, kneading his paws, and closing his eyes in ecstasy. The lady closed her eyes as well, and petted his hairless body gently. “He feels just like a little baby,” she said.
After a few futile efforts at conversation, I sat quietly beside her and Shen, holding his leash and just letting them enjoy the time together undisturbed. It was a visit of about 40 minutes in silence, except for the sound of Shen’s purring.I know from experience the comfort and joy that I feel as Shen snuggles on my neck when we fall asleep together at night. It was an honor to be able to bring that gift to someone else. – TAU Executive Director and Shen’s handler, Deborah Carr