Duke the Cat

A Therapy Cat Delivers Smiles to People in ICU

Last time we met Norbert, the therapy dog and we all loved him. This time, a therapy cat who does the same gives us the same pawsome feeling. Duke Ellington Morris, a therapy cat does the rounds at University of California’s San Francisco Medical Center. He rides in a cart delivery endless supply of warm cuddles.

In a video uploaded in Facebook, Duke is seen visiting critically ill patients at the intensive care unit and even pausing to say hi to the staff. The cat is well-behaved giving everybody smiles without even leaving the cart. The video already reached more than 6 million views.

The hospital’s spokesperson said Duke has already been lifting people’s spirits for the past two years.

Duke the CatKristen Bole said: The patients do love having him come in and they always respond positively to it. We know that service animals are really wonderful in reducing stress, anxiety, blood pressure and depression.”

Elizabeth Fernandez, a senior public information representative at UCSF also shares how lovely Duke is, saying: “He’s so patient. I’ve watched him in action a number of times and he’s given such consolation to our patients, and to our staff.”

Duke the Therapy CatBefore Duke graced the walls of the hospital and cheering people up, he was once a rescue dog. In November 2010, he was found at the cage of San Francisco Animal Care and Control by a 5-year old kid named Isa Morris.

Jennifer Morris, Isa’s mother said: “My daughter fell in love with Duke. We went into the cage area and Duke was very smitten by my daughter. So I figured the cat couldn’t be all that bad.”

Duke Ellington MorrisAnd unlike other feral cats who can’t adjust to a domestic life right away, Duke was naturally people-friendly.

“Already we had him coming over to meet people even that day and Duke would just hop on their laps and purr away. Then we noticed when someone rang the doorbell, Duke would be there first, waiting for whoever the person is to walk in so he could greet him.”

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