Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Réalta Thirteen Irwin

      This is the newest member of the family, Réalta Thirteen Irwin.  She was acquired in August to be a companion and therapy animal for my dad, who at that time had had a mini-stroke.  I went to the Four Paws Adoption Center in Rexburg and asked if they had any polydactyl cats.  As it happened, they had one; a gorgeous tortoiseshell.  We took her to Cedar Ridge Animal Hospital for a checkup, and she was microchipped and given a clean bill of health.  We brought her home to my dad, and told him that her job was to sit in his lap and listen to him practice talking. He of course protested, claiming he didn't like cats.  I ignored him, knowing it wasn't true.
      We named her Réalta which means "star" in Gaelic, to go along with her sister Ghealach which means "moon."  Her middle name comes from the fact that she has thirteen toes total on her front paws.  But the family ignores that and calls her Owl, MeowMeow,  Mrs Slocombe, and Cat.
       In September, Dad had a hemorrhagic stroke, which rendered him unable to speak, read, or write.     He spent a few weeks in hospital, then was moved to the Rexburg Nursing Center.  I went to visit in November, and I brought Réalta in to visit him.  She knew her job was to snuggle right in and purr.  He sat and stroked her, which they both loved.  I was able to bring her to visit a few times before I went home, and it sure seemed to help.  I know they both enjoyed their time together.


Michael Irwin said...

Réalta passed away today.


Anna Phaire said...

Such a sweet story. Cats know when they are needed.