Happy Pi Day!!
I hope you all got some delicious pie to celebrate today! I am thrilled and purry to offer you a delicious, warm, goes-well-with-ice-cream intermew with the incredible Draven the Therapy Cat! So many cute pictures!!
Hazel: Hi Draven! It’s so nice to have you here! Furst question, what advice do you have for bright young kittens aspiring to build a web presence?
Draven: First of all, choose a message. Are you an advo-CAT for shelter pets? Are you trying to inspire folks to be kind to animals? Are you raising awareness for the benefits of spaying & neutering? Or just serving as a fun way for people to relax by posting cute pictures & videos? Or any combination of these things…
Hazel: Even kitties need a brand!
Draven: Folks will truly connect with you if they understand your message & enjoy the way you express it. For example, one of my messages is to “Share the Love” & I do so by visiting folks in the hospital once a week. I post pics & videos of my visits on my Facebook page & love reading the comments my friends leave me.
Next, make sure you share links & info with all your friends! Then, go out & make more friends & share your info to them as well! You’d be surprised how quickly your YouTube channel or Twitter account gets shared when you get involved in your friends’ social media & events. My Facebook page has fans from all over the globe & it’s mostly because I found other pages & groups that I liked & shared info with them. I have lots of pet-lover friends on Facebook & I’m always checking up on what they are up to! Also, I make an effort to go to local events like fundraisers, expos, cat shows, etc. to promote pet therapy. When I go to these events (as well as when I go on therapy visits) I always hand out pens, stickers, or other goodies with my name on them. It’s a great way to make new friends & give folks a little something they can use & remember you by!
Hazel: You are a very brand-savvy kitty! I’m taking lots of notes!!
Draven: Some of the items I typically give to folks I visit.
Here’s a table I set up at a CFA Cat Show to promote therapy cats!
Hazel: Who has been your biggest inspiration and why?
Draven: I’m inspired by other folks out there doing similar volunteer work. I’m part of a FB group called I-CAT whose members all have Therapy Cats or Therapy Cats in training. It’s inspiring to see the kind of work they do in their local areas. Some folks visit patients in the hospital or hospice, some go to the library and listen while kids practice their reading skills, others help plan parties & events for residents at group homes, etc. I like seeing all the fun stuff my peers come up with to help brighten someone’s day!
Here’s their fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/TherapyCats?fref=ts
Also, I think my natural empathy was inherited – it was passed down from my Grandma Brown (my mom’s mom) to my mom & then to me! Mom & grandma are always doing nice things for folks for no particular reason like taking cookies to the vet’s office, leaving the garbage men little gifts for doing a good job, & helping their family & friends when they need it. Who wouldn’t be inspired by folks who do nice things for others?
Here’s me & grandma chilling in our hotel the night before a cat show!
Hazel: What do you like to read or watch?
Draven: I have to say my favorite book right now is called Love comes on a Leash. It is a book that teaches kids what therapy animals are & do. The best part is one of my Therapy Cat friends (Dexter the Therapy Cat) is featured in one of their books! Check it out: http://www.lovecomesonaleash.com/dexter.html Dexter is a pretty awesome kitty!
I pretty much like any TV show or movie my mom is watching because if she’s watching the TV that means I get to cuddle in her lap for a nap!
Hazel: I’ve always wanted to ask a therapy cat this: how do you feel about the rise of feline power & how do you see that power shaping the world in the future?
Draven: Well, I’m doing my best to spread the word about Therapy Cats, so I hope that in the future we have more of a presence as therapy pets. There are just as many cat-lovers out there as dog-lovers, so it would be nice to see more kitties getting into the field of pet therapy. Right now, there are only a fraction as many Therapy Cats register in our country as Therapy Dogs. I’m imagining a world where people aren’t surprised to see a cat riding down their hallway in a stroller – lol!
Hazel: I didn’t know you could be a Therapy Cat! Although we are quite intuitive and comforting when our Hoomans are sad, I also wrote a screenplay called “Pet Therapy,” but pets were on the receiving end of the therapy!
Draven: Here I am displaying my patriotism on the 4th of July at the Assisted Living Center – Proud to be an Ameri-CAT!
Hazel: Who would you love to have dinner with? What would you eat and where?
Draven: I would love to have just one more dinner with Great Granny Garfoli. She passed away while I was training to become a Therapy Cat & I visited her often in the hospital before she left us. I would like her to see me now that I am a certified Therapy Cat because I think she’d be pretty proud of me! I don’t really care what we’d have to eat, because I know Granny was always pretty generous with sharing her meals!
Me & Granny sharing a hospital lunch!
Hazel: I’m sorry to hear that, and of course she’s proud!! What are some mistakes you’ve made and what did they teach you?
Draven: I’m happy to say we haven’t made any notable mistakes yet. This is probably due to the fact mom and researched how to prepare for successful visits and tried to be prepared for anything. The biggest mistake handlers make is not listening to their Therapy Cat. So if you realize your cat doesn’t enjoy visits with small children, don’t take him places with children. If you notice your cat is getting agitated during a visit, cut the visit short. Your first priority is make sure your cat is safe, comfortable and having a good time so he’ll want to go on more visits. Do your best to accommodate him and be able to make adjustments as you need to. I think mom and I have done a pretty good job of this and now I’m up for just about anything!
I will even tolerate silly costumes… for a certain amount of time… lol!
Hazel: Mol!! That’s so true, Taco Cat spelled backwards is Taco Cat! What a great intermew, Draven, I learned so much! To conclude, if you could say 1 thing to a new or existing follower, what would you like them to know?
Draven: I try to keep my focus positive & encourage my friends to do the same thing I do, which is to simply SHARE THE LOVE in any way they can!
Hazel: SHARE THE LOVE, furriends!! And some pie! Thank you Draven!
And thank YOU reader for reading!
A cute taste of your food while you’re not looking,