Who can resist the irresistible charm of a cat?
Tuesday 8th August 2023, marks International Cat Day. A day dedicated to honouring our beloved feline friends. To celebrate we are shining a spotlight on our partner St Helena Hospice’s resident moggy: Paddy. A beautiful ginger tabby who lives at the hospice to bring joy and comfort to both patients and staff alike.
Paddy has lived at the hospice for over 10 years. Some people say he arrived with a patient, some say he was donated after a patient died, and some say he just turned up one day. However he got to the hospice, he has been giving comfort to patients and families ever since and loved by all!
With no certain date of his arrival his age has a slight question mark. But it is estimated he is around 14 years old.
Paddy offers a unique type of support to the patients and staff of St Helena Hospice. His presence provides a sense of warmth and companionship, allowing patients to find solace during difficult times. He helps patients who may feel isolated or lonely, by giving them a renewed sense of connection. It is amazing the impact a furry companion can have on your emotional well-being.
“Paddy the cat kept my dad company a lot of the time, which was a great comfort to him, having always had cats. It meant so much to him.” – family member
The presence of a hospice cat has been shown to have a profound impact on reducing stress and anxiety among patients. Studies have indicated that interactions with animals, such as petting or simply observing them, can help you feel calmer and more relaxed. Paddy helps patients alleviate the emotional burden that often accompanies the end-of-life journey, creating a more peaceful environment for them and their loved ones.
Having Paddy at the hospice yields a friendly environment, that makes it feel just like home. Not only for the patients, but their families too.
“The children absolutely loved Paddy. The minute we arrived the nurses would see the children and say ‘should we go and find him?’” – family member
Beyond the positive impact on patients, Paddy also provides immense support to the dedicated hospice staff. Caring for patients at the end of life can be emotionally challenging. By having the chance to interact with him, it can rejuvenate and uplift their spirit, enabling them to continue provide compassionate care.
It is the little things that can make a difference at a hospice. Having Paddy’s presence alone can make a hospice feel like a home.
“Oh, little Paddy! He's lovely, I love cats. He spends the whole night in here with me. He's on the chair now and he slept on the radiator yesterday. He wouldn't move when they pulled their curtains!” - patient
The journey at the end of life will never be easy. But with the support of St Helena Hospice and Paddy, you will have extraordinary companions to hold your hand on this sensitive journey.
Paddy reminds us of the importance of small gestures and the power of connection in offering comfort during life's most challenging moments. He really doesn't know how important he is to so many.
Find out more about the incredible support St Helena Hospice provide by visiting their website here.