Adopted Clinic Cat Brings Comfort and Comic Relief to his Veterinary Practice
Whether playing with puppies, greeting patients, or comforting his veterinary team, Bumble is at the heart of his clinic.
Loni + Bumble
A stray cat named Bumble becomes a veterinary clinic’s new best friend. His playful antics and loving purrs help his veterinary team find joy in his comforting presence.
"Within a few days, Bumble acted like he owned the place. When clients came in and he heard the doorbell, he would gallop up front to greet them. When new puppies came in, he was always dying to meet and play with them. He showed us he knew how to fetch and would even bring the toy back to us to keep the game going."
I am a veterinarian at a small local veterinary clinic. It was just an ordinary Monday in December at work, and I was neutering some cats for a local rescue that also does a lot of trap-neuter-return (TNR) work with stray cats. A very skinny, stinky, and dirty white stray tomcat came in for a TNR surgery. When I peered under the towel into the live trap, I expected to see a scared, wild animal (as they often are when coming from the outdoors), but instead there was this bright-eyed cat talking to me and rubbing his face against my finger through the cage. After his neuter, we put him in a kennel and gave him some food, water, and a litter box, since he was clearly tame. He slept the entire rest of the day, looking so relieved just to have a safe place to get a nap.
Later that afternoon, I had some downtime between appointments and decided to let him roam the clinic. We had just lost our beloved clinic cat Ruth, so we no longer had a pet to provide comfort and comic relief to staff members throughout our day. As this skinny white tomcat roamed around the practice, it became clear he may be a perfect fit as our next clinic cat! The rescue had already named him “Bumble” after the abominable snow monster from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. We “fostered” Bumble for a total of 48 hours before deciding he was definitely here to stay.
We made his adoption official, and within a few days Bumble acted like he owned the place. When clients came in and he heard the doorbell, he would gallop up front to greet them. When new puppies came in, he was always dying to meet and play with them. He showed us he knew how to fetch and would even bring the toy back to us to keep the game going. Two weeks after his arrival, I had a particularly hard morning. I had lost a patient and was crying in the pharmacy. Bumble came running down the hallway, jumped into my lap, and sat with me. His purrs were soothing, and he looked into my eyes and made me feel calm and relaxed. Veterinary medicine can be a very emotionally taxing field and it is a little-known fact that veterinary professionals are at the highest risk of suicide among all professions. This instance was the first time of many that Bumble has helped staff members through a tough time. He is quite the therapy cat and comedian too!
Still to this day, we always tell Bumble he is perfect, despite two things: the tip of his left ear is missing (because I ear-tipped him, not knowing we would be keeping him as an inside cat), and he has an affinity for opening brand-new expensive bags of dog and cat food and helping himself to snacks — despite his diet!
Each year, the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes campaign invites adopters to share stories of how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Dr. Loni won Whiskers TNR of Warren County in Martensdale, Iowa a 2020 Holiday Wishes award.