Yesterday, Jacoby and I went out to visitNewbridge on the Charles in Dedham, and meet with Leslie, the volunteer coordinator, about coming in for regular visits with the residents who live there.
It was actually snowing when I woke up, so I bundled Jake up well before we went out. I also just got him a new microwavable heating pad for his stroller, so he was nice and warm.
I was kind of thinking that this would more of an “interview” type of situation, so I didn’t put on either of Jake’s official vests, but I did put on our credentials (his tag and my badge), and I brought our official visiting bag. This turned out to be a good thing, because after a quick chat, we went upstairs and actually met a lot of the residents!
Jake was his sweet, goofy, charming self, both with Leslie and with the residents. It was my first time doing this with Jake “for real,” and it was probably a good thing I wasn’t expecting it – if I had known we were going to do this, I would have been a lot more nervous! But it was great; Jake was an absolute rock star, and he was completely unfazed at a crowd of women with walkers and wheelchairs milling about the elevator lobby when we arrived, people vacuuming, “Family Feud” blaring on the TV, and things being dropped in the kitchen. One woman couldn’t quite get her hands to him, but he put his head under her hand and helped her out.
Leslie had us pose together for a photo. I look like a total dork, but I like it anyway.
Jake really is a good-natured cat, though. He never seemed to reach a “sensory overload” point the entire time we were out. Even on the way home, despite a somewhat bumpy and loud shuttle ride, changing trains on the T (I had to carry his stroller up and down stairs), and stopping at the post office, he was still happy and ready to talk to people and be petted. Even after we got home, he strolled around and played with Angel and the other girls as though he’d been napping all afternoon!
We also had to get our picture taken for our NewBridge ID badge! At least in this one, we’re looking at the camera (more or less)!
Today, Leslie emailed me: “Thanks so much for coming in with Jake yesterday. It was a pleasure meeting both of you, and what happened upstairs with the residents was truly amazing! I am thrilled that you two are going to be visiting here, and you are going to make a lot of people very happy.”
Our first visit is Saturday, March 12. We’re on our way!