Fred is color. In a world that can sometime seem black and white this handsome brown tabby cat is the rainbow. His personality shines red, blue, green, yellow and purple. Fred is unmistakable – and we’re not just talking his meow, which if you know Fred – you know his meow. He’s sure to say hello, goodbye and a bunch in between all of that. You ask Fred a question and MEOW, tell him he’s a handsome boy – MEOW, sit silently next him and… well, you get it.
It was impossible not to fall in love with Fred, he’s confident, affectionate and hilarious. He’s cool with other cats and really seems to genuinely love everyone. Did we also mention that this charmer walks on a leash? While this all sounds great, there are a couple important things you should know about Fred. First, he would love nothing more than to be outside, all-the-time. And, because of this he was a bit of an escape artist in his previous home. It was probably on one of these expeditions that Fred was exposed to FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus). Now, FIV in no way defines Fred, or any other cat for that matter. It simply means that he might be a little more susceptible to illnesses and may require some additional medical care in the future – but he, and all FIV positive cats can live long, happy lives. Also, this means that Fred was not able to go to a home with any other cats, unless they were also FIV positive. And, as you’ve hopefully gleaned from paragraph one, Fred is a social guy. That’s why we were beyond excited when Fred met Alyssa and their journey began.
Alyssa is special too. She spends her days helping people through the human animal bond. As a licensed professional counseling candidate and a national certified counselor with Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado, Alyssa was already well aware of the positive impact animals can have on our lives. And, since the Animal Assisted Therapy Programs adopt all their animals Alyssa headed to the Dumb Friends League to meet the infamous Fred when it came time to add another feline to their crew.
When asked what it was about Fred that she thought would make him a good therapy pet Alyssa said, “Just like humans are all different and have strength and weaknesses so do animals, different traits can really benefit different types of people.” For Fred, she mentioned that his social, tolerant and talkative personality makes him a great resource for individuals who might be struggling with anxiety. For example, Fred helped someone who, due to severe anxiety struggled with confidence. Fred’s confidence in the world around him helps teach this individual to practice mindfulness and how to live in the moment rather than worrying about what could happen in the future.
In addition to helping clients Fred gets to experience many of his favorite things – he is taken for regular walks outside, safely restrained on his harness and leash, of course. And he enjoys the company of the Animal Assisted Therapy Program of Colorado’s three resident FIV cats.
Fred is proof that animals have an overwhelming positive impact on our lives. We know he’ll continue to change the life of countless people just as he did during his time at the Dumb Friends League.
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