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Myerstown Lions Donate Cats for Residents at Towne Centre

The Myerstown Lions Club donated three cats for residents suffering from dementia-related disorders at StoneRidge Towne Centre.  Specifically, the three cats, a silver kitty, an orange tabby and a tuxedo cat, were welcomed into the Towne Centre family Wednesday afternoon.  The Lions heard from their friends at the Lancaster Lions Club what a success it was after they donated a few cats to a nursing center in their area.  They reported that the residents found them both comforting and enjoyable.  It seems appropriate that Lions’ Clubs should be donating cats, right?


Lest you think we were talking about actual, living cats, no, we are not; we are talking about robotic pets.  These companion pet cats (they have dogs, too) with soft, realistic fur, mimic the life-like sounds and movements of real cats (or dogs).  Granted, they remain in one basic position, laying on someone’s lap if seated or their tummy if reclined.  There are sensors that are sensitive to both touch and motion.  Once someone comes near or pets the cat, it will begin to purr.  The purring mimics a real cat that you can both hear and feel.  The cat will also let out a life-like “meows,” move its head and close its eyelids.  It responds with several different actions including rolling on its side so you can pet its belly.  If the resident falls asleep, the cat will, too.

Lions Club President Michael Hibshman and Lion Steven Goodhue presented the three robotic cats to the Director of Activities at Towne Centre, Amanda Vatter.  Vice President and Committee Chairman Larry Albright was unable to attend.  The Lions funded the purchase of the robotic companions and a supply of batteries “by selling gift certificates for Smith Candies in Myerstown and earmarking the profits for this project.  A special “thank you’ to Smith Candies for their kind generosity and extra work to help assure our success,” Hibshman shared with Vatter and several others gathered from senior management.  “If the program is successful, the Lions Club may consider purchasing additional pets,” he shared.

The Myerstown Lions Club is a community-service club involved with many projects throughout the area.  They meet on the second and fourth Monday’s of each month at 7 a.m. at Country Fare Restaurant, Myerstown.  “Come join us for breakfast and a meeting.  Membership is open to men and women, and we welcome anyone to join us,” Hibshman said.

Pictured from left is Tiffany Bayer, director of nursing; Lisa Keppley, executive director; Michael Hibshman, Lions president; Steve Goodhue, Lion; and Amanda Vatter, director of activities