Coronavirus Update – Click here to learn about the precautions we’re taking

Millie a purr-fect mate for Atawhai residents

23 May 2018

1750 views comments • Tagged as Napier Our Residents Staff Stories Community Connections

Millie is the favoured feline for residents at Atawhai.

By Deborah Watts, Diversional therapist, Atawhai Rest Home,


You won’t recognise me but if you watch much TV, you’ll know who I am. My name is Millie and I’m the Oceania Healthcare cat but, in real life, I live at Atawhai. You may have seen me in the Oceania Healthcare ad, the one with the Magic Moments song. Well not me, exactly, but a smaller and younger version of me.


When the people at head office heard my story, they thought it was so inspiring they decided to base a TV ad on me and my special bond with a resident at Atawhai.

I arrived at Atawhai three years ago after a group of residents went on an outing to the SPCA. It was my lucky day when they decided I was the most lovable cat around and the one for them. Since then, I’ve cuddled up to many of my new resident friends and I’m proud to say I do make a difference in their lives.


I shot to fame when I cheered up one of our residents who always stayed in her room and didn’t want to socialise with others. When she saw me, she loved me straight away. I think I reminded her of a cat she used to own so I visited her regularly in her room. After awhile she started to come out of her room to look for me. She seemed happier,started to go to physio and even started to stand up and walk a little.


I didn’t let fame go to my head though, and I keep helping out where I can. I like how people’s faces light up when they see me, how they speak kindly to me and spoil me— especially the ones who used to have a cat. I must remind them of their beloved pet. I’m on the job at Atawhai 24/7, 365 days a year.


One of my favourite residents is Ann. She hand-feeds me every morning so I wait patiently at her door until she is ready to see me. It’s a lovely two-way relationship as I give back by snuggling into Ann’s bed in the evening until Ann is ready to go to sleep and asks one of the caregivers to take me away for the night. That’s fine by me, as I know she’ll be there again in the morning.


I often have a bit of competition from other animals who come to do pet therapy. Lately my residents have had regular visits from some very cute looking dogs, if I do say so myself. One is quite big, an Anatolian shepherd, and the other one is smaller. I should be jealous but I’m not. I know they make the residents happy and that’s what matters the most to me.


Find out more about Atawhai Rest Home



0800 333 688

Retirement Villages

Getting Started

Why Choose Us


Oceania provides Rest Home, Hospital, Dementia, Respite and Palliative/End of Life Care, as well as Independent Retirement Village living, at over 40 New Zealand locations.

© Copyright 2020 Oceania Group

Share our website