Alfie: Treasured Resident of a Spinal Unit

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Alfie: Treasured Resident of a Spinal Unit

Submitted by Noelene Saunderson
July 2013

Alfie cat treasured resident spinal unitIn the Christchurch [New Zealand] Press this morning was an acknowledgment of a cat named Alfie, who ‘just turned up’ from nowhere as a two-year-old tabby, and took up residence at the Spinal Unit of the Burwood Hospital, near Christchurch.

Alfie has passed-on, after having spent 19 (!) years as a treasured resident at the hospital.

A former charge nurse said, "He changed the specialist spinal unit for the better; he changed us from a hospital into a home rehabilitation unit."

He was a constant presence, and would pick the sickest patients and just sit on their beds and knees. He was amazing the way he picked the ones who needed him most.   

One man was dying of cancer, and Alfie stayed on his bed for days, providing comfort, and leaving only long enough to carry out a cat’s necessary functions.

The Spinal Unit’s clinical director, Dr Rick Acland, has produced papers proving that animals have a very positive effect on patients’ well-being.

Alfie...you now have the reward for the loyalty, the caring, and the comfort you gave to so many for so long.....Bless you, dear soul...

We are trying to do our best to help the precious animals, and they, in so many ways, are helping us.