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Elderly Veterans In Need Of Love And Support Are Comforted By Gentle Tomcat

Animals have unique healing qualities, as anybody who has ever been unwell while having their pet nearby will attest.

Though medicine is necessary when treating an illness or mending a wound, there is something about snuggling up to your animal companion that makes you feel instantly better.

Credit: Littlethings

This phenomena isn’t only in our heads; there are a variety of NGOs and organizations that utilize beautiful service animals to provide comfort to those in need.

Even health care facilities are beginning to recognize the positive impact that pets and purrs may have on people’s spirits.

The Salem VA Medical Center in Salem, Virginia, even collaborated with a local animal shelter to locate the ideal companion for its numerous veterans.

Then they discovered Tom the cat, who brought a smile to everyone in the hospital with his fluffy presence.

Learn more about this fascinating creature by reading on.

Credit: Littlethings

Animals usually seem to have a healing influence around them; there’s nothing like a fuzzy little companion cuddling up next to you when you’re feeling under the weather.

The Salem VA Medical Center in Salem, Virginia, is well aware of this, which is why Tom the tomcat is around.

Credit: Littlethings

Chief nurse Dottie Rizzo and physician assistant Laura Hart read from the book “Making Rounds with Oscar,” a true story of a geriatrician and a cat that calmed dementia patients and appeared to know when they were about to pass away.

They thought that their vets in need deserved a kitten like Oscar, so they enlisted the aid of a local veterinarian to select the right feline for the task.

Credit: Littlethings

And Tom was the ideal cat for the job!

He slinks from room to room, kind and compassionate, snuggling up to patients who need a little more attention.

“Tom can tell when someone is in distress. He slept a lot on my bed, and I scratched and stroked him like a cat,” Army veteran James Gearhart told

“I offered him some of my Ensure vanilla drink one day, and he drank it all. Then he rubbed his hands on me and licked them.”

Credit: Littlethings

Tom is always present for the patients at the center, brightening up the sometimes bleak surroundings with his purrs.

Dr. Blake Lipscomb claimed that after declaring a veteran dead, Tom looked up to him and meowed knowingly, having spent time with the patient and their family before they departed.

Credit: Littlethings

Even those who aren’t very fond of cats are won over by him.

Despite the fact that the hospital has a “No Cat Zone” where patients and employees are assured not to run across him, Tom generally makes friends with hospital visitors, whether or not they are self-proclaimed “cat people.”

Credit: Littlethings

He’s also aided vets who have physical limitations due to age or sickness.

With Tom on his lap, a Parkinson’s sufferer was able to talk more clearly since caressing him calmed his mind and voice chords.

Credit: Littlethings

He certainly makes everyone at the center happy, even the vets and the employees who care for them!

Many people locate him during their lunch breaks to cuddle and pamper him, while others check to see whether his litter box is clean.

Credit: Littlethings

With a beautiful kitten haunting the ward, Rizzo and Hart were correct; the entire air is a little bit nicer and homier.

These vets always have a healer, a companion, and a little source of enjoyment thanks to Tom and his remarkable abilities.

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