Angela Lally’s expression changed when she saw who was coming to visit her at The Laurels Senior Living Community, Hazleton.
“Oh, look!” she smiled when Laurel, a 12-year-old tiger calico cat, approached her door. “She is so cute. Her face is so nice.”
Laurel came to live at The Laurels in early October.
“I always wanted to have a house cat at The Laurels,” said Jenn Moisey, administrator. “A dog would be great but they would be a lot of the work for the staff. I thought, ‘A cat would be easy.’ ”
Moisey, who helps at the Hazleton Animal Shelter, hinted to shelter officials. She received a call soon thereafter noting that a lovable cat was in their care.
“She crawled into my arms and put her head on my shoulder,” Moisey said.
She began to purr and Moisey knew that she was the one.
“She lives here now,” she said, motioning to her office at The Laurels.
Laurels residents and guests are allowed to have a small dog or cat. But some residents are older and unable to care for pets like they used to. For them, Laurel is zero maintenance.
The feline stays in Moisey’s office, where she enjoys lounging on a fluffy couch. Staff will take her to activities, programs or to the facility’s sunroom to spend time with residents.
“She will go from lap to lap,” Moisey said.
Laurel will go to residences if invited, or will walk hallways with Moisey and staffers. She’s never unattended.
As for her backstory, no one is sure. Laurel came to the shelter as a stray. Shelter workers originally called her “Grandma” because she is an older cat who is missing teeth.
Laurel, however, is spry. She prances around, rolls onto her back to be petted and meows if someone is talking to her.
Moisey’s son, Josh Moisey Hoover, 12, pushed a tiny toy toward her. She pawed at it, then flipped onto her back looking for even more attention.
The cat also receives frequent visits from staff members like Kathy Waschko, who keeps a stash of cat treats in her work locker.
“I’m her grandma,” Waschko smiled.
Moisey is happy that Laurel found her way to The Laurels.
“She is a perfect addition,” Moisey said.
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