When Virginia Smith was forced to give up her cat due to the increasing symptoms of dementia, she was heartbroken.
Before moving to Seattle, Washington, to be closer to her son, James, Virginia was living in Texas with her husband and cat. After she lost her husband, the family decided that it would be best to move Virginia and her fur baby to an assisted living facility near by.
Unfortunately, after some time, Virginia's dementia and mobility got worse. Her son told Global News about the decision they had to make for the good of his 81-year-old mother and her cat...
“It won’t occur to her to eat even though she is hungry. It’s this weird disconnect that happens. She’ll sit there and say I’m hungry and there will be food across the room but it won’t occur to her to actually motivate herself to go get it. So obviously, someone in that condition can’t take care of an animal.”
Her loving sons only wanted what was best for their mother, even if it meant taking away her only companion...
Since the new facility couldn't provide 24 hour care, James and his family decided to move her to a nursing home. She was forced to say goodbye to her beloved pet. While she was happy that her other son, James' brother, adopted her kitty, living without a cat was very hard for Virginia.
“Being in a situation like that is lonely. So that’s why I think she was so upset to have to give up her cat because it truly is a companion,” Smith said.
The family decided that they needed to do something to lift her spirits, so the purchased a $100 robot cat made by Matel. Virginia was instantly charmed by the fluffy robot and decided to name it "Robbie."
“The first [thing] I did was put it right on her chest and instantaneously it started to purr. It’s pretty realistic. It was different to her. Within a minute or two she had a name and it was no longer an it but a he. He was a good boy and he was her cat. So it was really cool,” James said.
For now, Virginia knows that her new companion is robotic, but James feels that as her dementia progresses, she'll begin to believe that it's real.
The cat may be a $100 robot, but the real gift he gave his mother was companionship. That is truly priceless.
[h/t Global News]