The Story of Prissy

This is Prissy’s space. Normally she will be the one sharing her stories and what is important to her. However, I felt like I should tell you a little bit about Prissy and how she came to live with us here at Lakeside Hospice.

Priscilla “Prissy” Ruth

Prissy could have been another animal statistic. She was a stray. However, God had other plans for this particular kitty. Prissy wandered up in the yard of one of our employees’ (Tracy Whitten)grandparents’ house. Knowing that we had been tossing around the idea of a “mouser”, Tracy talked to Sharon Smith (Executive Director) and Prissy had a new found home.

The main thought process was, a cat is fairly self-sufficient, clean, and does not require much time, yet a cat could provide a valuable service where rodents were concerned. Prissy demolished those ideas pretty quickly. She is self-sufficient for the most part, but clean? Not so much. We have more toys strewn around than most homes with a two year old toddler. Does she require much time? She does not require it, she demands it. She loves to be held, scratched, and snuggled. However, she does not wait for an invitation. Your desk is her desk, your pens are her pens, and your papers are her papers. She loves to “help” you get your work done. She will steal your pen, your paper, even your cell phone if you are not careful. She hasn’t caught the first mouse though, but she has captured our hearts.

Most of us here at Lakeside Hospice are animal lovers in general but there were a few hold-outs.  Slowly but surely she has won them over. It’s hard not to love something that loves you unconditionally and provides you with so much without you even asking. Sometimes she gives us what we need when we do not even realize we need it.

Hospice work can be difficult at best. While rewarding on more levels than most people can understand, being confronted with death on a daily basis can become daunting. When you throw in your own personal losses, sometimes it becomes overwhelming. Prissy is our very own therapy kitty. Everyone handles stress differently. Some get angry, some cry, some withdraw. Prissy seems to be able to help in all of those situations. And she is always able to provide comedic relief. It is hard not to laugh at a jumping, flipping, bell-chasing, wall-walking ball of fur.

Sometimes, when my day has been particularly stressful, I can pick Prissy up, cuddle her in my arms and scratch those cute little ears. Then that little motor of hers starts running and she snuggles in my arms and somehow that huge stressful moment that threatened to push me “too far” just melts away. Susie McClanahan (Clinical Education Coordinator) just had to deal with the loss of a personal pet and is currently dealing with a difficult medical situation with another pet and Prissy provides much needed therapy here at the office. Even when one of my co-workers lost a grandparent recently, she took the time to come to the office and love on Prissy to receive some much needed kitty moral support. One of our on-call nurses comes by regularly on her weekends on call to play with Prissy. Even the ones that fuss about her fuss with a different tone now. They love her too – they just can’t admit it yet.

Prissy has a lot of mommas. And she knows when any one of them is gone. She will stand by office doors and cry, hang around desks looking for them, and she is always excited to see them when they return.  Every moment with Prissy is not picture perfect but she was certainly perfectly placed. Prissy has brightened up this office in ways that I could not even imagine possible. God knew exactly what He was doing when He brought her here. Everyone at Lakeside Hospice has a purpose – including Prissy!

I hope you enjoy the thoughts and ponderings to come. Prissy is sure to keep you entertained. Susan Cook