How old are you?
5 1/2 years old, Brown Spotted Tabby Male
5 1/2 years old, Solid Black Female
Where did your names come from?
Flash: I got my name from the saying “Gone In A Flash” I wouldn’t sit still as a kitten.
Venti: I got my name from the large size at Starbucks. I’m solid black so my name fits me.
How did you find your forever home?
Flash: My mom rescued me from a rescue out of Ohio that takes in barn kitty’s to adopt them out. I was a barn kitty and love the outside.
Venti: My mom rescued me from a cat rescue from Indiana called “From the Heart”. I picked my mom because I reached thru the cage and kept touching her to take me home, It worked.
Do you live with any fursiblings?
Flash and Venti: We live with 3 other cats in our house. Three brothers and Venti is the only girl.
What kind of training/certification did you need to be a therapy cat? How long did it take to get the training/certification?
Flash and Venti: We went thru the, Love On A Leash, program.
Here is there website just click on the cat link and it will explain on what you got to go thru to become a therapy cat. It takes a good 6 months to get certified from beginning to waiting to get your certificate. You need to go to the veterinary to check them out than find a place to visit. Do the ten visits and than have someone that has been watching you do the visit. Like another LOAL member or activities director. Than fill out all the papers and mail them in and than wait for the certificate. So four easy steps to become a certified therapy cat.
Where do you go to work at? Have people be surprised to see a cat and not a dog?
Flash and Venti: We mainly visit nursing homes on a weekly basis. We have a main nursing home we visit and than go to the others when we can. We go to the library once a month for kids to read to us. Sometimes we have someone who request us to visit there love one. Most people are totally shocked to see that there are cats visiting and can not believe how calm we are.
Do you have any cat friends that are also therapy cats?
Flash and Venti: We belong to a group on Facebook that has only therapy cats and we hope to have a web page running soon for people to see what therapy cats are all about.
How long did it take to learn to walk on a harness?
Flash: I love walking on my harness from day one and really hasn’t had any issues in learning what it is.
Venti: I’m not a fan of a harness but tolerate it, I fought mom but she won this time.
When you are done with your visits do you get treats or take a nap? How long do your visiting sessions last?
Flash and Venti: We visit for about a hour long to two hours at a time. We get treats when we get back to our vehicle and some times we fall asleep before we get back home.
What would you or your family like to say about therapy cats that people may not know?
Flash and Venti: They main thing in training a therapy cat is socialized them with everybody and take them everywhere you can. We visit the pet stores, farm stores, craft stores.
Is it a lot of hard work to be a therapy cat?
Flash and Venti: It does take a lot of work. Mom has to wash us down and clip our nails and comb us out. Then go and be cute and cuddly few a few hours can be exhausting work but so worth it.
What has been your best moment being a therapy cat so far?
Flash and Venti: Our biggest moment so far will be that finally cats are being recognized as being awesome therapy pets that bring comfort. We finally are in a reading program that took almost two years to get into. So we are here to spread the word about therapy cats. People do miss us if we haven’t visited in a awhile.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Flash and Venti: I just wish more places would allow us cats to visit and be more open minded with cats. We can do therapy work just as well as any other animal with the proper training and guidance. I do have a fan club address if anyone wants to write to us because I do like to see where my fans live.
Flash the Therapy Cat
P.O. Box 6594
Kokomo, IN 46904
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Flash & Venti’s mom for her patience in answering the questions. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit them on their Facebook page Flash the Therapy Cat.
This article is a part of the Black Cat Appreciation theme, for more interviews please click the badge below.