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Furry friend bring smiles to St. Margaret Hall

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Nov. 19, 2010


ST. FRANCIS DE SALES DEANERY — There’s nothing quite like a cute, cuddly kitten to bring a smile to someone’s face. 


There were plenty of smiles to go around at St. Margaret Hall on Oct. 27, when a group of volunteers from Ohio Alleycat Resource (OAR) brought several  young, friendly felines to visit the senior residents. Emily Moore, director of finance at the nursing home and a longtime OAR volunteer, coordinated the visit. Moore has arranged other opportunities in the past for the seniors to interact with the cats with support from the Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirm, who operate the home.


st margaret hall

The residents and several staff members listened intently as Charlotte White-Hull, OAR’s director of development and outreach, explained the organization’s mission, which includes helping reduce the local population of stray and feral cats through TNR (trap-neuter-return) and educational programs and offering a low-spay/neuter clinic for felines.


“Compassion for animals is what we’re all about,” White-Hull said. “What we do is a labor of love.”


After the presentation, the residents had the opportunity to interact with the volunteers and the cats and share stories about special pets that have touched their lives. Maggie Mitchell, recalled how much comfort and joy her cat, Chopin, brought to her life after her husband, Grover, past away. “Chopin was just so lovable and such good company,” she said.


Although she’s never shared her life with a cat, Millie Reisiger expressed her gratitude for the visit and fawned over a black and white female kitten named Gobi. “She’s so adorable. God love her.” Reisiger said.


“I like cats and dogs had them both growing up,” noted Eloise Milton as she stroked a black male kitten called Houdini. “This little fellow is pretty cute.”


Because residents of St. Margaret Hall aren’t able to have pets, the chance to visit with furry friends is beneficial to them in a variety of ways, said Maria Ceddia, activities director. “It makes things more homey for them here,” she said, “and even people who might say they don’t like animals seem happier and tend to relax when they’re around them.” 


“I think it’s therapeutic for the residents,” said Moore. “They get to take a moment and care for another living creature. It’s fun for them to have the animals around. They bring everyone here a lot of joy.” 



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