Nurse Raisin kissing a dog patient.
Nurse Raisin kissing a dog patient.

How Raisin the Rescue Sphynx Cat Became a Vet Clinic Nurse


What’s better than a good rescue story? One where the rescued pet gives back! Meet Raisin, a delightfully wrinkly Sphynx cat who was abandoned to Helping Hands Pet Rescue in Gainesville, Florida, due to medical issues. Her eye ulcer was so severe that she almost had to have her eye removed — if not for one dedicated vet student, Lindsey Hidenrite, who actively treated the issue and ensured that Raisin kept her eye with just a small amount of scarring.

Nurse Raisin hard at work!
Nurse Raisin hard at work at Animal Medical Clinic of Gulf Gate in Sarasota, Florida.

These days, Raisin is on the other side of the vet’s office. She has been adopted into a forever home by vet tech Ruth Heffernan and accompanies her pet mom to work at the Animal Medical Clinic of Gulf Gate in Sarasota, Florida, every day. At work, Raisin masters everything from meet and greets at reception to comforting patients on the X-ray table. Whether it’s through purrs or head butts, Raisin makes sure everyone from fluffy dogs to rats feel at ease during their vet visits.

Raisin’s reach goes far beyond the clinic. “Raisin inspires me every day,” Ruth says. “Her fans love to see her with all the patients, and they love to see her curiosity with surgery and X-rays. Raisin loves big dogs — not sure what that’s all about, but the bigger the better, and her fans seem to enjoy that!”

Raisin is also a source of inspiration to other pets with medical issues and their caregivers. “I would tell a pet parent in this position to take it day by day; do not get overwhelmed,” Ruth advises. “Work with your veterinarian, and be dedicated about your pet’s medical treatment — even if they are not a fan of the treatment! Don’t stress about the medical costs, and ask for help if needed. Most vet clinics will let you make payment arrangements, or there are groups out there that will help.”

And Raisin does it all while looking good. When she’s not sporting scrubs, you’ll find Raisin in tutus, polka dots and even pearls — or wearing her heart on her sleeve, literally. “Raisin’s favorite outfit is a soft pink ballerina-style dress with a heart on it,” Ruth says.

Follow Raisin on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and look out for her website,, coming soon!

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Editor’s note: Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home. 

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