Standing beside an elderly woman in a wheelchair who had suffered a stroke, I watched as she petted the cat I'd placed on her lap while making my rounds through her nursing home as a Pets on Wheels volunteer. Normally, I'd make conversation with the residents, but I didn't attempt to say much to this particular lady, Beverly, because a nurse had informed me that she'd lost her ability to speak.
Quietly, Beverly stroked the soft fur of a calm tabby cat named Dudley I had been carrying around the nursing home that morning. All I could hear besides the purr she elicited from Dudley was the sound of us breathing -- until, suddenly, Beverly exclaimed: "Kitty! Kitty!". The nurse nearby dropped her clipboard and stared at us in surprise. Then, slowly, Beverly said even more: "I ... love ... cats."
Afterward, Beverly's nurse told me that Beverly's doctors didn't expect Beverly to ever say another word, since the stroke had caused so much damage and Beverly hadn't responded to treatment. Yet Dudley's affection had miraculously helped Beverly start to speak again.
Witnessing that "furry miracle" inspired me years ago, and I hope the new story I've posted about animals helping people in miraculous ways will inspire you!
Photo © Bolla, public domain