Elliot was a special therapy cat–an Angel with Fur.

Tribute to Elliot, the Therapy Cat
By Kathryn Gress

No one really knows how you feel, when you lose a special therapy cat. I will try to let you know my thoughts and feelings as I pay tribute to Elliot. Elliot was a Maine Coon cat born almost 11 years ago. He came to The Gress Mountain Ranch, and lived there for only a little over 4 1/2 years. Wow, what a short time, I had Elliot.

He had several owners before the ranch, and was not appreciated for his great affectionate spirit. Elliot was one of the most physically beautiful cats on the outside, however, tremendously beautiful on the inside.  Elliot gravitated toward humans of all ages.  He loved everyone, wanted to snuggle, curl up, purr with you, and just be in your presence, 24/7. Elliot’s voice would also be heard, as he talked to us all the time.

Back and forth, Elliot would have conversations with me, telling me all about Elliot! Elliot’s heart was so big, he just couldn’t get enough of people.” But, this affection and his generous love got him ousted out of two homes, “He’s too affectionate, and it gets on my nerves,” reported his former owners. I could not believe what I was hearing.

As soon as I met Elliot, I knew immediately, he was my kind of loving therapy cat. Elliot came to live with the Gress’s in November 2002, and took on the job, of meeting and greeting everyone that entered the door. Elliot would race into the therapy room and wait for the clients to come into a session. Elliot knew his home, his family, and his job of helping people.  Elliot instinctively knew how to help the people, and would help me, as a therapist, process the pain, hurt, and problems with each person, couple, or family.

In June 2004, Elliot developed Heliobacter infection, h. pylori gastritis, stomach ulcers and received the needed intensive, expensive treatment. Elliot struggled with his disease, but made it back to the therapy sessions. In 2006, Elliot developed a seizure disorder. He was again treated, and was able to return back to helping people. However, in June of 2007, Elliot who had being constantly giving from his heart, to children & adults, his heart had a sudden onset of tachycardia, irregular heart rhythm and thrombo embolism.

Elliot’s heart who had been giving for the past 11 years, was wearing out fast.  Elliot was treated by Dr. Fortna, at Highland for all of these symptoms, and an EKG, helped to confirm my worse nightmare. On July 18, I searched for Elliot in the morning, to find him, wet under the chin, and looking like he’d had another attack. I talked to Elliot and petted him. Elliot headed over to his food bowl. I headed up the stairs. It was then that Elliot crossed over the rainbow bridge……

As tears, stream down my face, I mouth these words: “We miss you so much Elliot. You were truly an Angel with a Giant Heart with enough Love to fill all people!

Elliot, your pawprints have forever touched our lives. K.G.