Cat abandoned in taxi in Kimpton finds new life as therapist

PUBLISHED: 15:36 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:37 15 November 2017

Libby in her new care home in Hertfordshire. Picture: Helen Yates.

Libby in her new care home in Hertfordshire. Picture: Helen Yates.

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A feline who arrived at the Kimpton Rehoming Centre alone in a cab now has a new life as a therapy cat in a Hertfordshire care home.

Libby in her new care home in Hertfordshire. Picture: Helen Yates.Libby in her new care home in Hertfordshire. Picture: Helen Yates.

It’s not unusual for cats to be brought into the care of the Blue Cross pet charity by taxi, but when Libby’s cab turned up at the Kimpton Rehoming Centre, the team was shocked to find she was alone.

After a few days of settling in at the centre, Libby had a vet check and it was discovered that she was pregnant.

Once Libby had given birth to her five kittens, they all went to a loving foster home until the kittens were old enough to go off to their own new families.

Libby ended up remaining in the centre whilst all of her kittens found homes, as many new mother cats in rehoming centres do.

Kirsten Findlay, rehoming supervisor at Blue Cross Hertfordshire, said: “Libby was instantly a hit with the team.

“She was a very social and affectionate cat so we knew it wouldn’t be long before she found a new home.”

Luckily, Fosse House retirement home in St Albans showed interest in adopting a cat to help with the socialisation of its elderly residents to provide some much needed mutual affection.

Kirsten added: “We thought she’d be perfect for Fosse House because she was so lovely and relaxed.

“She’s interactive but calming and affectionate, and we thought that she would be the type of cat that would just sit alongside people.”

After a successful meet and greet at the centre, Zoe Hiscox, Fosse House manager, took Libby back to the home to embark on her new life as a therapy cat.

Zoe said: “By Libby being here it makes it more like a home.

“She’s not all over everyone’s laps, but when the residents are sitting watching telly she’ll be sitting in the chair next to them.

“It’s comforting and more homely for them.

“Many of the residents here have got high levels of dementia but for those that don’t remember her it doesn’t matter, because in the moment it gives them that good feeling.

“If they can’t walk or talk, it’s something for them to look at and engage with.

“Libby also brings back fond memories of when they’ve had pets.”

Zoe added: “Libby has also been known to comfort some of our really sick residents in their final days.

“It’s like she just knew.

“She’s very intuitive, so if somebody isn’t keen on cats she will sense that and will stay away.”

A spokesperson for the Blue Cross said: “Blue Cross believes there are many benefits to older people having pets in their lives.

“As well as companionship, pets give older people a routine and a sense of purpose. Older pet owners are also more likely to take exercise to walk or play with their pets and pets also relieve stress and increase endorphins through stroking.

“Blue Cross encourages care homes to take on a formal pet policy and process for residents wanting to bring their pets to live with them when they have to move.

“For more information please visit www.bluecross.org.uk/carehomes.”

For more information on the cats, any of the other pets currently looking for their new homes, or to donate to their care, please visit www.bluecross.or.uk.

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