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Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on February 8th 2022
The Healing Power Of Kittens.


Norma Schilling snuggles a kitten photo: washingtonpost.com

Former school principal Donald Friske, 93 is a resident at Meridian at Anaheim Hills assisted-living center in California.

Starting in 2019, Meridian business manager Lori Irby, a cat lover who fosters kittens for the ASPCA began bringing them to work to make it easier to feed and nurture them. She keeps them in a playpen.

Mr. Friske, a longtime cat lover, loves to snuggle those kittens.


Donald Friske photo: washingtonpost.com

While he can no longer have a cat of his own, "I'm too unsteady on my feet now, so this is the ideal solution," he told The Washington Post.

"I feel like the kitten therapy helps me both emotionally and physically, and it brings back lots of good memories of kittens from my past."

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As the word spread about the kittens, Meridian residents began coming to Lori's office to visit these tiny bundles of joy.

Lori Irby
Lori Irby photo: washingtonpost.com

After verifying these residents don't have kitten allergies, she began welcoming them in, and kitty therapy had begun.

Now with the help of Meridian's activities director, there is even a "Kitty Therapy Day" held on Wednesdays in one of the social rooms.

For residents unable to attend, the kitties visit them in their rooms.

How important is this nurturing time for the kittens?

"There's a very short window to get them socialized," said Tina Fried, director of Los Angeles volunteer and kitten programs at the ASPCA.

"Everyone wants the 'cuddle' cats - the ones that will sit on a lap and like to be played with. So what Lori is doing is actually helping to save kittens and get them into homes."

As for Meridian residents: "For many, it's the highlight of the week," Lori said. "There's just something really warm and comforting about holding a purring kitten."

Editor's Note: To learn more washingtonpost.com...kitten-therapy, aspca.org/get-involved/volunteer/kitten-fostering-aspca-los-angeles and pacificaseniorliving.com/

In the next KazanToday: It took a village to rescue Hank, a 1 1/2 year old kitty.


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A Moment Of Prayer

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