The Cat That Works At The Zoo Insists On Petting Every Patient

Meet Bea, a cat with the ability to lift everyone’s spirits.

She even possesses what some may call a “healing touch,”

Bea is one of six cats who live and work at Look Ahead Vet in Oroville, California.

“The girls are Elfie, Uno, Bea and Peggy, and the males are OJ and Theo,” Crystal Bessmer, a vet tech at the animal hospital, told The Dodo. “They each were brought to us at various times by different clients. They were all found as stray kittens, and most of them had severe injuries.”

The band of rescued cats has become one big family, and are never happier than when they’re together. The cats have free rein over the hospital and play an important role in helping patients and their owners feel better.

“It’s a fairly big indoor hospital, so they have lots of room to run and explore,” Bessmer said. “We all care for them throughout the day with love and snuggles, and our clients absolutely adore them. They’ve been very therapeutic for our clients and for us.”

Bea, the tailless tabby, is the head of the nursing department. Each cat has a unique duty. Whether they request it or not, she gives each animal a pet as she walks around the facility.

She’s usually very sweet and inquisitive, Bessmer said. She enjoys approaching them and frequently just checks them out by putting her hand in gently. She frequently strokes them.

She said, “She does adore everyone, especially the new cat, Peggy. She has also always been that way. She seemed to have no fear of anything, not even the enormous farm animals.

Here is where you can see Bea in action:


Even though Bea is the group’s nursing cat, all six cats contribute daily to the seamless operation of the animal hospital.

Theo is unquestionably the comforter. He will go and sit on their lap when he senses someone is truly depressed, Bessmer added. We refer to Elfie as the head of security since she can be a touch fiery and tends to gravitate toward the mayhem. Our doorman is OJ. He enjoys greeting people while loitering near the front entrance. Our babysitter is Uno. She especially enjoys keeping an eye on puppies and kittens. Finally, Peggy, our newest addition. We refer to her as the “hospital Cat in training” or “intern” because she is still very young.

And the kitties offer their human employees some much-needed encouragement when the days are long and difficult.

Because of the long hours we put in here, we’re all really close to them, Bessmer added. Most of us treat them as though they are our own since we are here more often than we are at home.

And they know where to go if they need a kind pet during the day.

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