Traveling is a stressful activity for many of us. A travel day is practically a wasted day in many people’s books and takes us away from friends and family, including our furry companions. The Denver International Airport (DEN) knows how hard it can be and created a dedicated in-airport therapy group to help people cope with the stress and anxiety while promoting the airport.
Denver’s therapy group is called Canine Airport Therapy Squad or just CATS for short. The once all-dog group’s mission is to relieve stress and anxiety (anxiety therapy) for passengers through positive interaction as well as delight them with the dogs’ wonderful personalities. The CATS program introduces therapy cat for anxiety and depression therapy which is a huge success, and as of September 29, 2017, includes a feline as well.
It was going to be just a matter of time before a cat joined CATS, given the affectionate name of the volunteer program. Xeli, the five-year-old, tiger-striped tabby is already a fabulous hit at Denver International and comes with experiences as a registered therapy cat. According to her bio, she loves making new friends and hanging out on her cat tree. She is also wild for catnip, her favorite treat. It’s Colorado, after all.
Denver is a big hub for travel in the United States so if you have an opportunity to take a layover at Denver International Airport, keep your eyes peeled for a CATS team member, including Xeli. You can quickly identify Xeli because she’s the only cat walking around on a leash in the airport, but you can also recognize her and her canine buddies through their vest. All CATS team members wear a “Pet Me” vest to identify them as therapy animals (emotional support animal cat). Cats reduce stress in humans.
Our furry, most of the time four-legged friends, do a fantastic job lifting our spirits and easing our troubled minds. Traveling is a stressor for most people, but Xeli and CATS program is helping ease our anxiety and delighting us one hug at a time, one of the ways to reduce depression and anxiety.