A KIND-HEARTED Suffolk resident has been taking his pet cat Barney to cheer up hospital patients across the region.

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Ray Chaplin, 60, of Battisford, has been visiting hospitals and elderly care homes for the best part of two decades after retiring as a farmer at the age of 40.

And after Mr Chaplin’s dog Ted, who was a favourite with residents, was run over in September, Barney, a three-year-old black cat, is now bringing smiles and joy to people across the county with his regular visits.

Mr Chaplin, who has looked after the stray cat for three years, said: “Animals are very therapeutic and Barney brings a lot of happiness to patients in hospitals and people at care homes.

“He comforts me and brings a lot of comfort to others as well.

“Hopefully he can live for a very long time and will continue to bring a smile to people’s faces.”

Mr Chaplin – who works as a volunteer editor for Stowmarket Newstalk, which produces tapes for the blind – revealed the inspiration behind his charitable deeds.

He said: “I enjoy speaking to people who can still remember World War Two and other wars because I think it is important that these memories are preserved for future generations.

“That is partly why I go out with Barney and with my previous pets, to talk to these people and bring a smile to their faces.”

4 comments

  • What's new Pussy Cat ?, whoa whoa whoa wo wo !!

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    freedomf

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Sad that the only two comments so far are ones that contain a lack of understanding about cats. It has been proven time and again, a companion animal will help patients. Arguing that cats are in some way dirty is wrong, if anything humans are the dirty ones of the world, just look at the mess we have made, yes, you and all the rest of us, because we allowed an illegal government to do whatever it wants. And we call ourselves enlightened and intelligent, we really do think a great deal of ourselves don't we!

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    Padraig

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • I can't help thinking it's hardly a good idea to introduce what may well be a parasite-ridden moggie into somewhere that there are a lot of very ill people already. Someone who is already in a bad way isn't likely to be helped by a Toxocara infection (which a large percentage of domestic cats carry) for example.

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    beerlover

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Sadly I have to agree with beerlover. I love, love, love cats and have my own and agree that they can make people very happy, however I don't think the hospital is a good place to take them. They can have fleas, worms and all sorts no matter how careful you are and how up to date you are with all their treatments. That being said it is a lovely thing to do!

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    tophatt

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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