Friday, 15 May 2015

Therapy Cats

Nine-year-old Peyton Weiderick and his therapy cat Clijsters

HERE'S a heart-warming story for you about two therapy cats, their effect on a little autistic boy and the generosity of people who paid for an operation for one of the moggies.

The cats, called Clijsters and Stosur after the tennis players, have been instrumental  in helping nine-year-old Peyton Weiderick cope with his illnesses, which also include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a sensory disorder.

Mum Karlinda, of Saskatoon in Canada, says he struggles with everyday challenges, especially swapping from one activity to another. He used to have meltdowns every time he got home from school but thanks to his two therapy cats he is now much better at coping. As soon as he gets home he cuddles the cats and calms down. If he's upset at other times he goes to his room and cuddles his pets.

“It helps him just calm down and get himself in order so he can talk through what he’s feeling,” said Karlinda.

But then the family found out that Clijsters needed extensive dental work and they couldn't afford the $2,000-plus cost. Karlinda was considering giving the cat to someone who could afford the work but first contacted the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan to see if they could help.

The university had a look at Clijsters and discovered she had an autoimmune disease which was beginning to eat away at her gums.  However, they said she might be eligible for help from the Good Samaritan Fund, which provides free or subsidized medical treatment for stray animals or those owned by people who can't afford the bills.

Vets at the college pulled all of Clijsters’ teeth last month and the cat’s transformation has been “amazing,” Karlinda said.

“We didn’t realise how sick she was; we thought a lot of cats, as they get older, become lazy and sleep a lot,” Karlinda said.

Since the surgery she has been jumping and running and is so much better. It was then discovered Clijsters had a heart murmur which has also been treated.

Karlinda was encouraged by vets at the college to set up an online GoFundMe fundraising page to support Clijsters’ post-surgery care. It has so far raised $3,950 which will be used to buy the medication Clijsters will need for the rest of her life.

Peyton helped set up the page and sent personal thank you notes to everyone who donated.

“It just meant a lot to him that people cared enough about him to help his cat,” Karlinda said. "Some of you might say it's just a cat. But to a boy with autism it's his 'person' who is always there for him."


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12 comments:

The Daily Pip said...

What a lovely story! Animals can have such an amazing effect on people. I love hearing these kinds of stories. Thanks for sharing.

Jo said...

It is a heartwarming story. I didn't know there was such a Veterinary group who could provide help. It has often been proved that animals are a great help for people who have mental disabilities.

Caren Gittleman said...

What a lovely story. I know they do use cats in Nursing Homes etc because they are so calming. Thanks for visiting us! We are happy to meet you! Mom and I just signed up to follow your blog via email so we will be visiting regularly and hope that you will be too! Love, Cody and Caren www.catchatwithcarenandcody.com

Birgit said...

Any animal deserves the best treatment. This cat is loved and needed the help. I am so glad this type of service exists, I had no idea it did. Animals have been proven, time and time again, to help people with disabilities no matter what their age. I am so glad these cats help this little boy

Darla M Sands said...

It's amazing to read about animals helping autistic children. What a blessing. Thank you for sharing.

dezizworld said...

Dat's a pawsum stowry. Mommy sez she kuldn't live wiffout us eevew. Altho' when peeps see us, they just see a kupple a kitties, mommy knows how purrecious and helpful we awe, And even ifin nopawdy ever saw a fing we do fur mommy or believed us, it wuldn't matter. Mommy sez hers knows and knows dat even tho she saved us, we save her evewyday


Luv ya'

Dezi and Lexi

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

There is so much sadness in the world, it is nice to read about something so wonderful.

Liz A. said...

I just saw something about how kids get more from having pets than having siblings. How was it put? Something about the pet being there for them without question. A kind of constant. I wish I remember where I saw it, now.

That's Purrfect said...

Thank you, Caren. We signed up for yours too!

Fur Everywhere said...

It is amazing how generous people can be. I'm so glad that this kitty was able to get her surgery and funds for her medication. Dental surgery is incredibly expensive. I'm glad there are resources out there to help us kitty parents when we need it. Our kitties are our family.

Cathy Keisha said...

Great post! Stomatitis is a very painful disease. I’m glad she’s better now after the surgery.

Kitty Cat Chronicles said...

We love stories like this! So heartwarming :)