Ipswich: Cat owner takes his loveable pet to visit patients in hospital

Ray Chaplin, of Battisford, is taking round his pat cat Barney to hospitals and care homes across th

Ray Chaplin, of Battisford, is taking round his pat cat Barney to hospitals and care homes across the county - Credit: Archant

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

Ray Chaplin, of Battisford, is taking round his pat cat Barney to hospitals and care homes across th

Ray Chaplin, of Battisford, is taking round his pat cat Barney to hospitals and care homes across the county. - Credit: Archant

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.

Most Read

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.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter