I personally didn’t know that there were therapy cats; I just found out about it a few years back when a friend told me a story about their grandma who was suffering from severe depression.
She wasn’t ready for a retirement home, nor could she handle a dog, so a therapy pet organization set her up with a trained, senior cat.
The purpose of therapy cats is basically to help people who are suffering from mental, emotional, or physical discomfort.
If you wish to learn more, check out this detailed article: What Is A Therapy Cat? The Amazing Healing Power Of Felines. I won’t bore you with more details, let’s move on to this amazing story about Kiley and Richey, the therapy cat that was simply meant to be.
Richey The Therapy Cat And His Human Family
Lori and Jason Griggs, Kiley’s parents, kept looking for a therapy cat that wouldn’t be scared of Kiley’s wheelchair. The wheelchair is motorized so most cats get scared of the sounds and movements it makes.
After searching for a while, the family was contacted by Suncoast Animal League who were thrilled to report that they had found the perfect cat for them. The family went to the shelter to meet the cat and see if he really was purrfect for them.
How Richey Found His Fur-Ever Family
Richey was found wandering the streets, dirty and alone. His rescuer noticed him walking around the neighborhood for a few days before deciding to intervene.
Since Richey was super friendly, the rescuer guessed he must have had owners before being abandoned. Turns out, he did. But when they moved away, they left him behind.
The man did his best to rescue the poor cat and bring him to the local shelter in Palm Harbor, i.e. Suncoast Animal League of Florida. The shelter staff cleaned Richey and thoroughly examined him.
After he ate a lot of food and was feeling a lot better, he was ready for a loving home, but this time, it would be forever!
Kiley And Richey, The Best Of Friends
According to the family’s posts afterward, Richey meowed at them and then leaped into Kiley’s lap without hesitation.
“We drove over to Suncoast Animal League and it was Richey! He was the one!”
Kiley, who has cerebral palsy, and Richey instantly clicked. It was love at first sight for both of them. Kiley knew she had found a forever friend.
As you can see, they named him Richey (after Lionel Richie) because of his habit of meowing all night long. This chatty cat loves to be around Kiley, on her lap or behind her laptop, as long as he’s by her side.
He is not afraid of loud noise or weird sounds, he is completely unbothered and ready to be a friend to his human Kiley.
However, the father had a different idea in mind! He made a deal with Kiley and his wife.
“So the deal was… I said, ‘Y’all girls can get a cat but I’m getting a boat.’ That is how Richey finds himself on the boat all the time.”
Not a bad deal, right? From a lonely life on the streets to a life filled with love and adventure. Way to go, Richey!
After hearing her dad’s plan, Kiley made sure to remind them that it had to be a boat Richey could come along on.
“Well, he has to come with us. It has to be a boat that he can come with us.”
Kiley and Richey are living their best lives together, just being there for each other and enjoying their time. It’s clear Richey found the perfect family, and they found the purrfect therapy cat!