Older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation especially when their partner passes away.
A recent companionship success story involves Coast to Coast Cat Rescue, a tortoiseshell called Honey Girl and a few Te Whatu Ora in Te Tai Tokerau staff members involved in the process.
Tina Milich and her 80-year-old mother Gael who recently became widowed, said the process was so easy and supportive to elderly, providing food and ongoing support.
Francie Long, volunteer to Coast to Coast Rescue played a big part in this special union.
“Francie mentioned to me about the companion cat initiative. This really spared my interest as my mum had recently lost her partner John and her cat had become unwell and had to be put down.
“The family was on the lookout for a kitten for Mum. She mentioned how an older cat was a better option and explained the companion cat advantages,” says Tina.
“Honey Girl is an absolute delight. So friendly and affectionate and great with other cats despite being a Tortie!
“This sweet girl was surrendered to the rescue after her owners got a dog which Honey did not take to very well,” shares Sam.
The organisation has two sponsors paying for Honey Girl, based in Whakatane. They heard about the programme on a radio show and wanted to help.
Recently, a connection was made, and the process was soon completed when Tina picked up Honey Girl for her mother, and the replaced family pet quickly settled into her new forever home.
“I picked up Honey and took her to mum. Honey hoped out of her travel box and my mum's eyes just glowed. Honey has been kept inside for a week to learn her new environment and getting to know each other has been so good for my mum to have a buddy and to occupy her,” smiles Tina.
Coast to Coast Cat Rescue is a charitable organisation based in the Bay of Islands dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of cats.