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Morris comes in on little cat feet.
Then he pretty much takes over the room.
The orange tabby gets a grand welcome from residents during his weekly visit to All About Life Rehabilitation Center in Fond du Lac.
“I’d heard of therapy dogs, but a therapy cat? This I have to see,” said Becky Williams when she first heard about the over-friendly feline. She serves as life enrichment coordinator at the nursing home facility.
That’s the reaction Morris’s owner Kelly Krepsky gets from most people. When she approached Healing Paws, a local pet-therapy program, to sign Morris up they were a bit hesitant. After all, most people are familiar with dogs as therapy pets.
“I told them he’s really different. He thinks he is a dog,” Krepsky said.
The Fond du Lac family adopted Morris and another cat they named Callie on Oct. 11 from the Fond du Lac Humane Society. Three times prior to getting Morris they had cats picked out at the shelter but by the time they had the chance to get back there the cats were already gone.
“My husband and I hadn’t had cats since we were teenagers, so we were just lucky he picked us. With cats you just never know what you’re going to get,” she said.
Drew Krepsky, a 15-year old student at Fond du Lac High School, admits Morris is an anomaly.
“We kind of knew he was weirdly friendly when he let us hold him like a baby at the shelter,” he said.
Suzie Reschke of Healing Paws put Morris through a rigorous series of tests to see if he would qualify as a therapy cat.
“Nothing phases him, not the pet carrier or loud noises or strangers. According to Morris no one is a stranger and everyone in life is there to pet him,” Reschke said.
She tells the story of a resident at All About Life who doesn’t bother to come to see her therapy shelties during their weekly visit, yet never fails to greet Morris.
“For some people, dogs touch their hearts. For others it’s cats,” Reschke said.
Morris has no qualms when it comes to getting what he wants. And he usually does. After arriving at All About Life he promptly goes into his show routine. He starts to purr, rubs against residents’ legs, taps their hands, and puts his paws on them, begging to be picked up.