International Cat Day on Sunday 8 August had a special meaning for residents living at a Mandurah-based aged care home.
That's because the seniors readily admit that living at Mercy Place Mandurah feels even more like home because of a certain four-legged feline resident – Beth the facility cat.
The friendly feline has lived at Mercy Place Mandurah for more than seven years, initially entering the home with her late owner, Christine Hackling, after being adopted as a stray from the Cat Haven in Shenton Park as a four-year-old.
And after her owner passed away nine months ago, the decision made by Christine’s family and the not-for-profit home was that Beth should stay with her Mercy Place Mandurah family who, by all accounts, adore her.
Mercy Place Mandurah Service Manager, Simone Baxter, says over the years Beth has become a much-loved resident at the aged care home and has had a hugely positive impact on residents who love giving her pats and cuddles.
“Most homes have a pet and we’re really focused on creating a warm and comfortable environment at Mercy Place Mandurah, something that Beth really contributes to,” Ms Baxter says.
“All the residents love her, as well as our team of staff, and everyone feels that she’s very relaxing to be around. In fact, it’s wonderful to see how much enjoyment our seniors get by stroking and spending time with her.
“Research shows that pets are beneficial to people’s health and wellbeing, particularly seniors, and we definitely find that she’s a very calming influence for our residents, which makes her a much-loved member of our home.”
International Cat Day is a day of recognition for one of humanity’s oldest and most beloved pets. The festivities were put together for the first time in 2002 by animal rights groups including the International Fund for Animal Welfare to celebrate the most popular pet on the planet.
Find out more about Mercy Health.
Pictured: Imelda Lake and Beth the cat