Riverbend has been called “home” by a number of wonderful, quirky cats. Rescued and brought to us, they quickly settled in and became beloved fixtures here. You’ve probably seen at least one at any visit…lounging at the front desk, patrolling the waiting room, or snoozing in an exam room.
Savannah (nicknamed Wurm) is our newest resident kitty. She was born in October of 2008 with a serious deformity involving both back legs. She had to have one of her rear legs amputated, which has given her more freedom of movement. She is blissfully unaware that she is in any way physically challenged. She runs around from room to room, up and down stairs, and around the hospital to patrol for treats. Normally a very shy kitty, Savannah has come out of her shell and now visits the front desk more often. She will hang out in her kitty bed and make sure she gets her share of the kitty treats!
Amelia came to us in 2002, brought in by a Good Samaritan. She had been found by the side of the road in Chicopee, presumably hit by a car. After she recovered from her injuries, we tried to place her in adoptive homes several times, but she very clearly expressed her desire to live at Riverbend. She passed November 2019, at 18 1/2 years old.
Amelia was a professional front desk cat. After we lost Tyrone, Amelia stepped up and became the feline face and greeter of Riverbend. She loved to sit on (and sometimes in) people’s purses. She often would sit on the counter and taunt dogs with her tail. But mostly she was a comforting presence to those of us at Riverbend, especially her front desk crew. She would help with our paperwork, monitor the computers and gladly step on the phones. She would give us a comforting paw or rub if we were having a bad day and mostly, remind us that treats were a good thing and that she should have them.
Amelia was a friend, confidant, and life coach to all of us at Riverbend. Her passing leaves an empty part in our hearts and she will be forever loved.
Tyrone (d. May 2012)
Tyrone (d. May 2012)
Probably the happiest day in Riverbend’s history was the day that Tyrone came to stay. Nearly blind and very sick, he was rescued from a shelter in March 2000 and brought to us for treatment. By the time he was on the mend and ready for adoption, we had fallen hopelessly in love with him.
We estimate Tyrone was about a year old when he arrived. As for his origin, he may have been part Maine Coon, part Norwegian Forest Cat, part Siberian Forest Cat, or just an old fashioned American Domestic Longhair. In any case, this handsome cat was an integral part of Riverbend for our first 12-1/2 years, greeting patients in the front office with a brush of the tail or a gentle bat on the nose, visiting them in the exam rooms, and watching over them while they recovered from surgery.
As the years went by and his numerous health problems tired him out, he roamed the hospital less and less, preferring to sit at the top of the stairs or in pharmacy, the perfect places to interact with his friends and have his head scratched as we went about our day. Probably the saddest day in Riverbend’s history was the evening when he died.
Tyrone touched our lives in so many ways, and we miss him very much.