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On The Job with Guido the Italian Kitty

My job has no formal Job Description – it’s just my job and I’m fortunate to just wing it at work. People are curious as a cat about what I do as an Animal Assisted Therapy Cat, so I’m gonna give you a real PURRsonal insight to my having fun on the job with the fantastic seniors at The ARC of San Francisco.

Commuting to my job on a San Francisco cable car is a good way to start my day, (of course I hum the Mice a Roni tune up and over the hills). Sometimes I visit little groups of 20 or a larger group of 55 seniors, all with mental or physical challenges. There’s so many meowvalous activities going on, and I purrticipate in them all!

When they sit in chairs at the activity tables, I purrfur to forego the chair to sit on their table, like the crafts table where I check out their balls of colorful yarns and great artwork they’re making. I might put my paw in the watercolor paints (I’ma an artisticat doing paw print paintings) or play hockey with their crayons.

Dominos at the game table are my favorito – just paw tap one and bamzatini they all go down! The clients giggle or say “Oh NO Guido!” Some days I join in card games – just putting my paw on the card they should select. So you see, my job can’t have a job description cuz I always changes what I do on the job.

Some clients are content with me just sitting close to them, and they massage me so nicely – makes me purr for sure, so going to my job is kind of like going to Spa for me. We ‘shake paws’ and some of them tickle my chin, and it all revs up my purr machine.

I started working as a therapy cat 3-1/2 years ago, and I’ve seen amazing things happen over the years while on the job working with these special people. It’s taught me that weeza all have challenges and weeza all really the same: just wanting to have a nice day.   Can I share some speshule moments on the job, with you?

One reclusive man never talked much – never shaked paws or pet me. After 2 years knowing him on the job, now he jumps up and heads like a bullet towards me and myself when we enter the room, and he also says my name and pats my head nice.   During a field trip with his group to the grocery store, he saw my momma in the aisle and ran to her giving her a peck on the cheekie and said loudly “Geedoe – Geedoe – where Geedoe?” This is purrcisely why I love my job.

When a client passed away, me and myself was invited to the funeral cuz I knew her (she always cupped my face in her hands and told me she loved me!). I was catnapping the day of the funeral so I sent a Flat Cat Guido with my Staff to the funeral home. When the Staff entered holding my life size paper cut-out self, a bunch of clients saw me and jumped up out of the pews and raced over and petted me and squealed and carried my flat cat self up to the coffin placing me upon it saying “Guido gonna guard her.” It was something, and the Priest almost fainted when he turned around to sprinkle the Holy water on the coffin and was facing me and my meowster self!

My job izza the mostest impurrtant job I’ve ever had, and the pay is super high: unlimited overtime purrs galore! Now that I’m getting older, I’m not gonna slow down, but I’m gonna speed up at work to keep up with the fabulous seniors at The ARC of San Francisco. It’s my meowvalous birthday month, and I’m turning 5 on May 26th. You can give me the happiest birthday gift ever by helping me help PAWS, which stands for “Pets Are Wonderful Support.” And you don’t even have to wrap up this present!

Photo: Mark Rogers Photography
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