Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Therapy Cat

Back in February we had a little incident where Alvin let our 12 year old cat out of our sliding glass door one morning and we never found her again. I was heartbroken because we had Katie a female calico since Will and I met and while she was old and temperamental we loved her. Back in early August our good friend brought over about 6 balls of fluff. She had 4 kittens that were ready to be adopted and had 3 that still needed a home I wasn't completely ready for a new cat, but I turned the decision over to Will since he would be home with it more than I would. That day Schrodinger joined our family. He was the last one out of the kennel and the first thing he did was curl up on Will's chest.
Their first meeting
Surveying his new territory

What has transpired over the past few months is amazing. Alvin wasn't one to show affection to anyone or anything. He was always reserved with his emotions to some degree. When we got our dog Ophelia we thought she would be the perfect companion for him. While she has been a great addition to the family,she didn't bond with Alvin the way I expected.

The cat has suddenly changed things though. From the time of his first vet visit Alvin started showing more compassion and attachment to this cat. When we took him to get fixed Alvin was comforting him the whole time and showed compassion that we were not expecting.

Playing with the dog
 The cat  himself fits in well. He plays with Ophelia all the time and keeps her on her toes. With the kids he is gentle and loving.

What really got me about this cat was when Alvin was hospitalized last month. I've never had a cat that was horribly affectionate or social with us. They were aloof and didn't seem to care much if we were around or not.

When Alvin was in the hospital Schrodinger just seemed confused. The boy he slept with part of every night was gone.

Once Alvin came home he was beside himself happy. Alvin wasn't allowed out of his sight most of the night and as soon as he went to bed the cat was right beside him. This cat now even has a small bed in Alvin's bed and he uses it. Most days you can hear Alvin walking around saying "I love this kitty."
He loves this kitty and I think the kitty loves him back

Never before would I have thought that a cat could be a therapy animal but I have been proven wrong. The cat follows Alvin everywhere and slowly but surely seems to be helping Alvin come out of his shell emotionally. An example of this was just last night he asked to have a sleepover in Elliot's bed. Granted this only lasted for about 20 minutes but he snuggled with Elliot. Elliot was beside herself happy that he wanted to and cried her eyes out when he left. 

So I guess I've now come to realize that any animal cat, dog, horse whatever can benefit a child with autism or other brain disorder can really help as long as the child/adult has a bond. In our case it just happened to be a furry little grey fluff ball that needed a home.