Fur Love Comfort Cats eager to bring peace and purrs once more
Kate Cote, the owner of Fur Love Comfort Cats, with one of her therapy cats.
spoken to anyone in eight years,” Cote shared, noting that others look forward to their visits so much that they begin to grasp the days of the week. “We also do visits with people who usually ban visitors. Who wouldn’t want a visit from a big friendly cat?”
Like that little cat that wouldn’t budge from the client’s chest, Cote knows that she and her comfort cats are needed. She’s looking forward to the day when the long-term care facilities can welcome them once more. Cote said, “Our friends call us regularly to ask when we’re coming back, and we hope to be back to work soon.”
By Christine Galeone
Earlier this year, Kate Cote, the owner of Fur Love Comfort Cats, brought one of her comfort cats to visit a client. During the pet therapy appointment, the young lightweight Calico nestled against the man’s chest. When it was time for the cat to go home, however, she wouldn’t budge. The little cat refused to willingly leave the man. It wasn’t long before both the client and Cote realized what was happening, and both were brought to tears. The cat instinctively knew how much he needed her.
Since most of the work that Cote does is for people living in long-term care facilities, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on her small Douglas-based business. But knowing what a positive difference her cats make in people’s lives, she’s determined to keep the business going.
Not surprisingly, Fur Love Comfort Cats, whose slogan is “Bringing peace and purrs,” is truly a labor of love for Cote. She credits God for helping her – by blessing her with cherished feline companionship – to recover from the trauma of childhood abuse. With personal understanding of the profound effect that cats can have on people, she started her unique business more than 20 years ago. She and her cats have brought comfort to the homeless, people with cognitive disabilities, children and others since then. She believes that, among other things, comfort cats can support people by helping them deal with trauma, lowering their blood pressure and stress and anxiety levels, and improving sensory recognition in people recovering from a stroke.
On the Fur Love Comfort Cats website, www.furlovecomfortcats.com, Cote explains that she doesn’t consider her cats to be trained. “They aren’t trained; they are raised to become traveling cats, if you will,” Cote notes on the site. “Because of my own experiences, I am able to instill confidence in the kitties, so they aren’t afraid in any circumstance. I want them to enjoy what we do too!”
Before the pandemic, the cats enjoyed the work so much on their structured, consistent one-on-one visits that Cote said the long-term care facility clients considered her and her cats to be their friends. “And sadly, most of our friends have passed now – not due to COVID,” Cote said. “It makes me very sad that we didn’t get to say our last goodbyes. However, we were able to do a few visits here and there over the last year.”
Thankfully, Cote has many Fur Love Comfort Cat success stories to keep her motivated in these challenging times. “We’ve had three people regain the ability to speak coherently; one woman hadn’t