Michele Tilford | Dr. Elsey's
human child petting cat

Michele Tilford

I have been involved in feline-assisted therapy with the San Diego Humane Society and the East Bay SPCA with my cat, Kokoro (who’s name means “heart” in Japanese. It was an incredibly rewarding experience. Visiting people with my team mate and seeing the effect of his presence on people was sometimes miraculous. One example, we were told that the resident we were visiting hadn’t talked in years. We placed fluffy Koko in her lap, and she started talking about how she had a cat! The staff was shocked. I retired Koko from actively volunteering but I currently co run the Therapy Cat fan page and I-CAT (International Cat-assisted Therapy) pages on groups on FaceBook. The photo shows Kokoro at a Halloween educational event for the East Bay SPCA in 2013. Photography credit:Heidi Eder