Animals

Tom The Cat Uses His 'Sixth Sense' To Bring Comfort To Sick Veterans In Long-Term Care

Tomcats are notorious for being bullies, but not this sweet boy. Tom is a gentle cat with a very special gift, he is the appointed counselor, caretaker and feline friend at Salem VA Medical Center in Salem, Virginia. This intuitive kitty knows just who needs a little extra love shows them just how tender Tom can be in their moment of need.

Tom the cat was adopted by the facility after a long and thoughtful selection process led by the local veterinarian's office manager. When Chief nurse Dottie Rizzo read about Oscar, a therapy cat living in the Steere House Nursing and Rehab Center in Providence, Rhode Island, she knew that adopting Tom was just what the veterans needed.

The staff and Tom understand that not everyone is a cat lover, so there is a 'No Cat Zone' that Tom doesn't visit. But we're pretty sure that Tom will win all the hearts in the end. "There are patients who say they don't love him, but they do end up loving him anyway — they just don't know it!" Dottie told Today.

Army veteran James Gearhart thanks Tom with treats. He and the cat shared a special bond while he was undergoing treatment for throat cancer. "Tom knows when someone is having a hard time. He laid on my bed a lot and I rubbed and scratched him the way cats like," Gearhart said. "One day I gave him some of my Ensure vanilla drink and he drank every bit of it. Then he rubbed on me and licked my hands."

Tom is there for the veterans when they need him the most.

The gentle kitty snuggles up and sleeps with the tired and struggling patients.

Tom knows that all you need is love, especially if you're a veteran. Sweet kitten cuddles take all the stress away.

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