The Cat Cure | God's World News
The Cat Cure
Critter File
Posted: March 01, 2024
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    Kitten Lola-Pearl looks up at attendees during an Amputees Coming Together Informing Others’ Needs meeting in Troy, Ohio. (AP/Patrick Orsagos)
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    Juanita Mengel holds her cat Lola-Pearl in her home in Amanda, Ohio. (AP/Patrick Orsagos)
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    Lola-Pearl looks into the camera. (AP/Patrick Orsagos)
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    Juanita Mengel and Lola-Pearl (AP/Patrick Orsagos)
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    Lola-Pearl and Juanita visit hospitals, nursing homes, and amputee support groups. (AP/Patrick Orsagos)
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Juanita Mengel wakes up. She puts on her prosthetic leg. Next, she does the same for her cat.

Ms. Mengel lost her leg after being injured in a car accident. Her cat, Lola-Pearl, was found as a kitten with her back legs twisted together, and one had to be removed. Ms. Mengel took Lola-Pearl in. Now they work as a therapy cat team for Pet Partners. The organization also has around 200 other cat-and-person teams in the United States.

Pet Partners sets up owners and their pets as volunteer teams. The teams visit hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. Pet Partners registers nine different species as therapy animals: dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, birds, mini pigs, llamas, and alpacas. Taylor Chastain Griffin is an official at Pet Partners. According to Ms. Griffin, cats doing therapy work is unexpected. “People are like, ‘Whoa, there’s a cat on a leash. What’s happening?’” she says.

A good therapy cat loves strangers. It doesn’t just tolerate them. During a visit to a limb loss support group, Ms. Mengel pushed Lola-Pearl in a stroller. Attendees petted the kitty as she woke from a nap. Wherever Lola-Pearl visited, she brought smiles.

“It’s a really rewarding experience,” says Ms. Mengel. “I get just as much out of it as the people that I visit.”

At Easter, we remember that Jesus sacrificed Himself for us. He became human and could “sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15)—kind of like Ms. Mengel sympathizes with her cat! Because He rose again, all who believe in Him will one day have perfectly healthy bodies again.

For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. — 1 Corinthians 15:52

Why? Helping others enriches both the helper and the person receiving the help.