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Butterbean makes herself at home

August 10, 2005|by JOSEPHINE "MAMABEAR" BENTON

WILLIAMSPORT - Names and nicknames add interest to life. Down at Twin Oaks 44 we were recently having a conversation of "the bears": While waiting to make a resident visit, the eucharistic minister from St. Augustine's Catholic Church, Jim Baer, was chatting with the Williamsport Retirement Village chaplain, me, commonly known as Mamabear.

People familiar with Williamsport Nursing Home residents on Golden Age Terrace know when they hear "Ticky" spoken to, that's Ethel Baker. All recognize "Jackie," although her name is Doris Keckler.

Consider "Butterbean"- there's an interesting name. If you should come to WRV asking for her, where do you suppose you would be directed? That calls for a little story. We do have a "Butterbean," and this is how she came to be with us.

At the time of our staff retreat at Coolfont last October, some of our administrators were relaxing from usual duties by just poking their heads into this and that shop or place of business in the area. Thus Shelly, Tim, Sue and Lori came to the neighborhood pet store, where they were introduced to a "drop-off" kitten for which the managers were seeking a home.

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Asking what a "drop-off" kitten is, I learned it was one that had been left on the porch of the pet store a few days previously.

Our WRV people conferred and then compassionately offered to provide the stray cat a home. The pet shop staff already had started to call her Butterbean ... She was perhaps six weeks of age.

The next question: where out of all the possible locations should this kitten reside? She stayed briefly in a cage on C-wing, and then moved down to Rehab, where she has lived ever since. The residents in therapy and the Rehab staff seem to enjoy having their own resident cat.

That is where you can see Butterbean today.

She may be curled up in her bed on the exercise steps in the corner, or on the seat of a soft office chair by the telephone.

Again, she will nestle in a resident's lap. ... In choosing her friends Butterbean is partial to male over female residents. ... She isn't exclusive about it, though.

"To be friends, one must show oneself friendly." Butterbean the multicolored cat seems to be achieving that goal.

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