April 21, 2024

Cat Immersion Project: Reveals Cats Aid Emotional Healing

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Internet's Cat Obsession Justifies Itself In Cancer WardCheckout this amazing and heart-warming story of healing with cats. It never ceases to amaze me the many ways that a cat can help humans heal physically and emotionally. There are statistics showing that people who own cats live longer and have lower blood pressure than those who don’t own a cat. There are also those who suggest that a cat will lie down and arrange themselves on their owner’s body over a painful area and the heat and vibration from purring will relieve their owner’s pain.

Internet’s Cat Obsession Justifies Itself In Cancer Ward

We’re not sure it’s ever been studied, but we’re willing to bet that the glut of cute animal photos on the Internet is a testament to their soothing effect on the human mind.

So imagine you’re a cat lover who can’t see your own cat because you’re in an isolated hospital ward for an unknown duration. Sure, you could look at cat photos on your computer, but maybe you get tired of staring at the screen.

Imagine, then, a private four-hour screening of thousands of cat photos sent in by strangers projected on sheets draped over your bed. You lie back, relax, and watch the cats flash above you; there’s even a purring sound to bring them alive.

This “cat immersion project” unfolded in Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem’s room just a few weeks ago through an art project at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Barzallo Sockemtickem, 16, is receiving treatment for graft-versus-host disease, an affliction that can occur after bone marrow transplants. She had a transplant in November 2011 after being diagnosed a year earlier with acute myeloid leukemia.

It all started because Barzallo Sockemtickem really missed her cat, Merry. She hadn’t seen Merry in weeks, and it was all she could talk about with Artist-in-Residence John Blalock during one of his regular visits to her room.

Blalock, who has done photo and music video projects with several other patients in the hospital’s Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program, says he thrives off the weird ideas that come up in his chats with patients.

“I’ve learned that whatever random idea you come up with from a brainstorm, that’s the best idea,” he says.

At first, Blalock solicited cat photos from other staff members. Then Barzallo Sockemtickem suggested that they post a request on the hospital’s Facebook page — specifically photos of cats who, like Merry, would be greatly missed in case of separation.

Soon, more than 3,000 photos poured in. Some came over Facebook, others came as printed photos in the mail. Microsoft sent a cat calendar, someone else mailed in a cat care package with catnip and toys; another sent a book of cats wearing wigs.

Read More: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/08/08/158418566/internets-cat-obsession-justifies-itself-in-cancer-ward

I’d be curious if this type of “cat therapy” would do well with the sick and elderly as well as children with illnesses. Maybe they will implement this in other hospitals and convalescence facilities.

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About Velita Livingston

Velita Livingston is the founder and editor of the Cat Lover's Diary blog. The site provides rich content with great advice on cat care tips and training, teaching you how to protect, pamper and live peacefully with your cat. Click here to watch the Cat Lover's Diary Movie created by Velita. It contains breathtaking images and heartwarming quotes... It will uplift and inspire you! Visit: www.CatLoversDiary.com to learn more about Velita or follow her on Twitter.