Central Ohio Technical College banner ad

Lafayette Pointe Nursing and Rehabilitation Center adopts cat

| July 17, 2014
Pet: Tommy the cat is a new permanent resident at Lafayette Pointe Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The center adopted Tommy from the Coshocton Animals Shelter and he has quickly won the hearts of residents like James Hartley, who is pictured with him. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

Pet: Tommy the cat is a new permanent resident at Lafayette Pointe Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The center adopted Tommy from the Coshocton Animals Shelter and he has quickly won the hearts of residents like James Hartley, who is pictured with him. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

WEST LAFAYETTE – Tommy is one lucky adult cat. Instead of one owner, he has several people who help look after him.

The Lafayette Pointe Nursing and Rehabilitation Center adopted Tommy from the Coshocton Animal Shelter about a month ago.

“Our facility is focused on resident centered care,” said Vanessa Immel, administrator at the center. “We want this to be as close to home as possible and not like an institution. I talked with the residents about what they missed from home and one thing they mentioned was having a pet around.”

A Yorkie named Bailey already visits during the day, but Immel felt a cat was a lower maintenance pet that could actually stay at the center and be a good fit for the residents in its secure unit.

“I thought it would give them an activity to keep them busy and one of my residents suggested that having something to take care of would help her not feel so anxious at night,” Immel said.

Tommy roams the unit most of the time, but the department of health requires him to be in his cage when meals are served.

“The animal shelter was very helpful and donated his cage and toys,” Immel said.

The shelter also made sure Tommy was declawed, had all his shots and was neutered.

“They took care of us and set us up very well,” Immel said.

The residents have really enjoyed Tommy’s company.

“He’ll jump up in their laps and they get a kick out of watching him bat the fern around,” Immel said. “Everybody also helps feed him, make sure he has water and fresh litter, is in his cage when he needs to be and brushes his hair off of things. We are all responsible for him.”

The Animal Shelter brought Tommy out to the center for a trial run, but within minutes everyone knew he was at home.

“We immediately knew it was going to work because he started walking around and snuggling up to people,” Immel said.

Tommy is very friendly, but also knows who to give space to.

“If residents don’t want to interact with him, they just speak up and we shut their doors,” Immel said. “Tommy also knows who enjoys having him on their lap and who doesn’t.”

James Hartley, who lives at the center, was glad to see Tommy move in.

“I had cats for years,” he said. “It’s nice to have Tommy because he has his own personality.”

Resident Kathleen Swigert also likes the addition of Tommy.

“I just kind of like cats and when you have nothing to do it’s nice to be able to come pet the cat,” she said. “It also helps you forget all about anything that might be wrong with you.”

Immel has seen Tommy help calm down residents.

“When we’ve had residents who don’t feel well or are upset we’ve set him in their lap and he’s settled them down,” she said. “He helps redirect them.”

For information on how to adopt a pet from the animal shelter, call 622-9741 or visit the Coshocton Animal Shelter at 21755 TR 164 (Morgan Run Road).

[email protected]

Tags: , ,

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

Comments are closed.