Wednesday 21 June 2023

Rescued, starving feral cat has come a long way and is now a therapy cat at San Francisco Airport

His name now is the elaborate 'Duke Ellington Morris'. He used to be a starving and ill feral cat back in 2010 when he was rescued from a colony. He spent some time at the SPCA before being adopted by a mother and daughter.

Duke Ellington Morris an airport therapy cat who was a starving feral cat until rescued
Duke Ellington Morris an airport therapy cat who was a starving feral cat until rescued. Image: Instagram.

They discovered that he had the character to be a therapy cat and became one. At that time San Francisco Airport used dogs as companion animals to calm anxious travellers. Airports are places where travellers can become anxious so it is a nice idea to use domestic animals to calm them.

The airport used dogs and has now expanded their little group of therapy animals ('the Wag Brigade') to include Duke Ellington Morris, who has his own Instagram account and a rabbit called Alex and LilLou the pig.

They are all certified by the San Francisco SPCA as therapy animals and have graduated from therapy animal school with a certificate to say that they have been passed the Animal Assisted Therapy Program.

Duke appears to have always demonstrated a temperament ideally suited to therapy animal work.

His is a regular male tuxedo cat; a black-and-white cat. He looks nice in his therapy cat uniform. As mentioned, he was rescued as a starving feral cat. He is 'paying it forward' as they say in the United States (respond to a person's kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else).

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