A CARE home resident in Stratford has found happiness after reuniting with her long time furry companion.
Hylands House resident Clare desperately missed 18-year-old Fred who she had reared from kitten-hood.
The 78-year-old suffered a long spell in hospital before she was admitted to the Warwick Road care home.
The resident often talked about her feline best friend and remained worried for his welfare. The moggie was being fed by Clare’s niece who said he also missed his human companion.
Home manager Shelley Sheasby decided it was her duty to try to do everything she could to reunite Clare with her beloved cat.
After discussion with Clare’s niece and Hylands House director Kashif Munir, it was decided Fred would come and live with Clare at the home – and to keep it a surprise for her.
Shelley said: “The look on Clare’s face when she first saw Fred was something I will never forget.
“Clare said ‘is that my cat, Freddie? Has he come to visit me?’. When I told Clare Fred was going to live with her and he was not just visiting, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said ‘are you joking, can he really stay with me forever?’.”
The pair have been inseparable ever since, and Fred has made himself at home among the residents.
Shelley added: “Since Clare has been reunited with Fred her mood, overall motivation and quality of life has improved. Animal companions can bring such joy and comfort to individuals living in care homes and I genuinely believe we should do more to promote and encourage this. I have put myself in Clare’s position and I cannot think of anything more sad than be separated from my animal companion due to not being able to return to my own home. I hope in the future when I am old and living in a care home that they allow me to take my cat.”