Ladysmith lodge visitor the cat’s meow

One regular visitor to the Lodge on 4th is becoming the cat’s meow.Sapphire, Mary McClement’s 10-year-old black cat, has been bringing everything but bad luck to the residents of the lodge.McClement herself is no stranger to pet therapy, having brought her previous cat, Sophie, to the lodge for years.Sapphire makes her regular appearance to the lodge every Saturday, making her way from room to room and delighting her dedicated group of followers.“The just love her,” said McClement.“I put her on the bed and she just cuddles in and sits there.”McClement said Sapphire, who was adopted from the SPCA two years ago, is not a finicky feline and enjoys just sitting around.McClement, a retired nurse, said in her last job in a retirement home, she saw first-hand the benefits of a resident cat.“They just love them. It’s good for their morale, it’s good for their mental health, it’s good for everything.“I feel so good when I leave there.” McClement said Sapphire is the only pet therapy cat she knows of and hopes her story will inspire a formal program.“These people just want animals so bad and they’re not allowed to have a resident cat.” Spencer Atkinson, site administrator at the lodge, said Sapphire is not the only furry friend that can be seen down the halls at lodge.“There’s a couple of dogs that also come through,” he said.“I know the patients always look forward to spending time with the animals.”The animals, said Atkinson, must be approved before entering the building, showing they have their shots and vaccines.Anyone interested in bringing in their pets can call Jane Osbourne, activity co-ordinator, at 250-245-3318.