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IN FOCUS: Feline therapy

Published: Mon, October 18, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.

Senior Independence Center has welcomed some furry residents

STORY & PHOTOS By William D. Lewis


The Senior In- dependence Center of Mahoning County offers a variety of programs for its members wishing to keep active including painting, cooking and line-dancing classes. A couple of longtime visitors to the center, however, are quite content to catch a catnap whenever they can.

Laurel and Hardy, aptly named for a comedy- film team popular in the 1920s, are a pair of cats who have become resident pets at the center. The feline duo enjoys the run of the place, often greeting visitors at the door. Hardy is the younger of the pair and can be seen zipping from room to room, while Laurel often finds a sunny spot to catch a nap.

Jeanne Stride, a social worker at the center and an owner of multiple pets, says Laurel and Hardy get a good reaction from most of the seniors at the center.

“They give the seniors a lot of loving.” Stride said.

She added the cats have been living at the center for about five years. Once, while roaming the halls at night, the cats set off the alarm system.

Jo Fiorenzo, a volunteer at the center, sat on a sofa holding Laurel while the afternoon sun streamed through a large window. “These cats are almost like members of the family. This place would be very dull without them. They add to the atmosphere,” Fiorenzo said.

Visitors to the center often spend time with the cats and have been known to bring a treat for them. The cats sometimes wander through a painting or dance class.

Joy Perry of Youngstown, who takes tai chi classes at the center, enjoys the feline company. “These cats have personality and make the center feel like home,” she said.

The Senior Independence Center of Mahoning County is at 1110 Fifth Ave., Youngstown. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call 330-744-5071 for more information.


1temp(6 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Better watch out...Animal Charity might get ahold of them and murder them all like they did with the Cat Ladies Society cats. They entered a modern, beautiful, clean facility and took 80+ cats and killed most of them. No charges were filed against anyone. They just entered, stole and killed them. Please check out the CLS website and view the pictures of the beautiful cats that they took....and see how beautiful the facility is, or better yet...stop by. Animal Charity will have to answer to the crime they committed.

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2ConcernedCats(8 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Give it a rest. Not everything has to be about Cat Ladies Society. This is a nice story about two cats who are giving senior citizens some happiness. Let it be a nice story and not ruin it.

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3temp(6 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I've read your past comments against the CLS. You need to give it a rest if you're SO concerned about cats. There was a nice story about 80+ cats also.

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4ConcernedCats(8 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Actually, I haven't made any anti-CLS comments unless you're talking about my "law-abiding folks" comment, which is 100% true. If your doctor were under investigation for malpractice and ordered to stop practicing medicine, you be okay with him announcing on his own that he was going to keep doing it no mater what anyone said?

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5temp(6 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago


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