I am fortunate to have such a special cat. Van Gogh is a red European Burmese and a registered therapy cat. He is registered with the Love on a Leash foundation and is one of fewer than 200 registered therapy cats in the United States.
Therapy cats participate in animal assisted therapy (AAT) where they visit people in nursing homes, rehab centres, hospitals, schools, libraries and other facilities. A therapy pet's job is to brighten someone's day, help lift depression, and assist in learning and communication.
Therapy cats must have a special temperament in order to do their job well and not be stressed by different surroundings, travel, and being handled by many people.
Van Gogh is an exceptional therapy cat. He loves people of all ages and like most Burmese cats he is very tolerant. Van likes nothing better than to be held by someone who loves animals. Before Van became a therapy cat he worked as an art model in my drawing classes, and has twice donated blood for critically ill cats.
Elizabeth Llewellyn is a feline welfare and behaviour specialist with 30 years experience working with cats in a variety of settings including rescue, breeding, boarding, grooming and veterinary. She lives in Chittenden County Vermont with her three cats.