It is wonderful and amazing how life’s mere coincidences bring us immense joy and luck. Those occurrences end up improving our lives, which consequently ends up improving the lives of the people around us. It is a true miracle of life!
However, those lucky occurrences are not meant to happen only to humans. Quite the contrary, actually. They can happen to our furry companions as well. And our today’s protagonist is the perfect example of that.
Today, we are bringing you an inspiring story about Oreo, a black and white kitty whose wanderings have brought her into a nursing home where she managed to get herself a job. Let’s meet her!
Oreo is a formerly stray feline who, due to the color of her fur and the general sweetness of her nature, was fondly named after many people’s favorite cookies. We can proudly say that this kitty changed the course of her destiny.
One very special day, her standard everyday wanderings brought her to St. Augustine Health Ministries, a nonprofit organization in Cleveland, Ohio. This facility specializes in providing assisted living, health care, housing, and community services for chronically ill people and elderly folks.
After she managed to sneak in and find her way inside the facility, Oreo kept returning to it. Her fluffy presence became very much appreciated by both the staff and the residents, and everyone quickly grew to adore her.
So naturally, the facility became her forever home, and all the people in it were her new family.
The facility already had a dog named Coco whose main purpose was to entertain and show love to everyone inside. But now it seemed like Coco got a worthy opponent. Or rather a new special furry friend.
Dana Carns, the director of the Advancement for St. Augustine Health Ministries, said how both Coco and Oreo provide their residents with something to look forward to. They give them the opportunity to care about something and show love to it.
In other words – they give them a sense of home.
Although Coco is a much-appreciated member of their little family, Oreo somehow managed to outshine him and entirely steal his spotlight.
Everybody adores her! She usually sits behind the reception, where she helps her human co-worker in her everyday work by greeting everyone that comes inside. Her fellow receptionist Carmen Delgado said how Oreo is very useful to both the employees and the residents – they all love her so much.
According to Dana, the great majority of the people they help in the facility had previously had pets of their own. So for them, Oreo is a source of many pleasant memories. Each time they come to see and pet her, they always laugh and seem genuinely happy because Oreo reminds them of home.
One of the residents, Susan Orwen, says how she really likes her fluffy friend. Even though she is not her owner, they like to hang out with each other. In a way, they both get many benefits from each other’s company.
The rest of the residents, too, love to spend their time with Oreo. Even though she is not exactly a lap cat, they love to cuddle with her and give her many head and chin scratches – which she adores!
They also love taking countless pictures of her. Any time Oreo is behind the reception, or lounging on a bench, everyone gets their phones out and starts taking photos of her. She is a real star of that nursing home!
It is unfortunately very common for residents of nursing facilities to feel lonely and therefore develop anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses. This mainly comes as a result of their declining health, loss of their independence, and forced distancing from the home they are used to and their loved ones.
In these tough and challenging situations, pets, especially cats and dogs, can be amazing emotional support for people who are struggling with their mental health. Our lovely protagonists, Coco and Oreo are, of course, no exception.
Many people would argue that cats are spoiled and selfish, but Oreo is here to prove them wrong. In addition to being great cuddle buddies and play companions, cats can also be an inexhaustible resource of support and love.
They are able to sense when someone is mentally struggling, and will almost always come to aid that person in their healing process, simply by using their presence and their therapeutic purring.
Healthcare workers of the St. Augustine Health Ministries have reported countless times what powerful and healing abilities Oreo actually has. Some of them include:
- reducing anxiety
- stimulating memory
- overall mood improvement
- boosting self-esteem
- increasing level of physical activity
- promoting healing
- reducing physical pain
- reducing emotional pain
- minimizing the feelings of hopelessness and loneliness
- giving a sense of purpose
Some might claim that people from that facility saved Oreo’s life. However, in a much bigger sense, Oreo is the one who saved their lives. Every day, she generously offers them her judgment-free companionship and unconditional love.
Oreo is a true heroine. And we all love her for everything she does for the people at the St. Augustine Health Ministries facility.