Aby-a-Day – July 31: Jake’s first ArtBeat (Friday Flashback)

Jacoby went to his first ArtBeat in 2010.

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He was amazing. He was just over a year old, but he hadn’t been with me a year yet.

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We didn’t have a stroller yet. We used his Snoozer Rollaround carrier. But it was partially because of ArtBeat that I decided to investigate getting a stroller for Jake.

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Jake took to ArtBeat like a natural.

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The best interaction was with a boy named Jason.

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Jason was developmentally challenged, and he was a sweetheart. He loved Jake and even gave me a big hug. It was the moment that I knew that Jake would be a good therapy cat, and that we’d be a good therapy team. I’ll really miss going to ArtBeat…it’s really a very special event.

Aby-a-Day – November 19: Wordless Wednesday (Jump)

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Aby-a-Day – November 16: Assessment

Jacoby and I had our recertification assessment for Pet Partners today. Since he didn’t pass the last time, we didn’t take the train; my husband drove us. We also took the test in a different room that was completely dog-free.

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Jake did a lot better this time than last time; being in the new room definitely helped.

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And he was really happy to be back in his stroller. In fact, he was a little too happy to be back in his stroller…and that may actually have been part of the problem.

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When Jake was doing the parts of the assessment that involved him not being in his stroller (on someone’s lap, being held by me or someone else, or on a table), he hissed and growled. Not at anyone – these were “in general” hisses and growls – and once he was back in his stroller, he would purr and knead his cushions.

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However, the growling was bad sign, regardless of the reason for it, and he didn’t pass his assessment again. Deb, the person who did his assessment today and who’s done all of his previous assessments, is afraid he might be suffering from therapy burnout. He still obviously loves and enjoys aspects of therapy visits, he doesn’t seem to love all of it, at least when he’s being tested. He’s never growled or hissed on an actual visit, but the concern is that if he does it during the test, he could do it on a visit, and the last thing you want to do is scare a patient. So, for the time being we’re still on a break.

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We aren’t going to take the test again until March, and if he doesn’t pass then, well…maybe he’ll be a retired therapy cat. We’ll just have to see.

Aby-a-Day – September 18: Waterfront walk

After our trip to Grafton on Sunday, Jake wanted to walk home, and since we don’t have all that many more nice warm days left, I indulged him.

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When he feels like walking, he just hops out and trots along next to the stroller.

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He didn’t walk for very long, though. We were both pretty tired.

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It was a long day. When we got home, we both took a nap together.

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Hard to believe that soon it’ll be too cold to take walks like this.

Aby-a-Day – September 14: Trip to Grafton

Jacoby and I took the Commuter Rail out to Grafton today for our recertification assessment.

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It was a nice, uneventful trip, unlike last time.

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He had a pretty good time exploring the lobby of the Tufts Veterinary administration building.

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Despite all the dogs.

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I was very happy to be able to get a few more copies of the Catnip newsletter with the article about therapy cats and Jake.

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I was only able to get one copy mailed to me because I’m not a subscriber. I tried using the “but that’s my photo of my cat” argument, but it didn’t work. So it was an unexpected boon to get a few more copies.

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On our train ride home, Jake made a new friend.

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This little girl was thrilled to see a kitty on the train.

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And Jake was pretty happy to have a little girl pet him. He’s so great with kids.

Aby-a-Day – September 12: Certifiable (Friday Flashback)

This weekend, Jacoby and I need to go out to Grafton and get recertified with Pet Partners and Tufts Paws for People. Basically, every two years we need to have our skills and aptitude assesed so we can renew our documents and continue to visit.

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I’m not too concerned about passing; after all, Jacoby is a bit of a natural.

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But the first time we took the assessment…

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…I’ll admit I was a little nervous.

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I knew he’d be great with strangers.

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But there’s one part of the test where he has to sit on someone’s lap for 30 seconds without anyone touching him. I wasn’t sure he could sit still that long.

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I needn’t have worried.

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We passed the first assessment as well as our reassessment in 2012. We should be just fine on Sunday.

Aby-a-Day – December 19: Winter vet visit

Kylie’s been having runny, goopy eyes lately, so last week I took her to the vet.

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It was really cold when we went – something in the high teens, if I remember correctly, so I took her in the stroller with the SnuggleSafe heating pad all warmed up. She also wore a little fleece jacket, so she was nice and toasty.

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The stroller has a cover that helps block any wind and keep in the heat. The front is a tight mesh, but cats can see out through it.

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Jacoby also came with us, to help keep Kylie warm and to lend some moral support.

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Jake is the only cat I know who enjoys going to the vet. He loves to see everyone and he loves all the attention.

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Nothing fazes him, not even the canine patients, which included a very active 4 month old puppy.

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Lyndsay took this one of Jake showing off in his holiday hoodie for treats. Dogs? What dogs?

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Kylie, on the other hand, was perfectly happy to stay in the stroller.

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In fact, as soon as Dr. Yollanda finished examining her, Kylie went straight back into the stroller to cuddle up with Jake. Jake is such a good therapy cat – he helps humans and felines!