May 23 2013 Latest news:
By Matthew Stott
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
A KIND-HEARTED Suffolk resident has been taking his pet cat Barney to cheer up hospital patients across the region.
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.
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.”