Marena, and Madison the Cat

Some may wonder if we rescue the pet or the pet rescues us. I believe in our case it is quite mutual. This once-shy, awkward, socially backward cat has transformed completely. Named Madison, she is playful, funny and quite the social butterfly when we have guests. This is also the case with my autistic daughter, Marena. Madison has taught my daughter responsibility, lessened her social stress and anxiety, and helped motivate her. Since making friends is difficult for my daughter, this helps ease her loneliness and lack of extra peer-interaction. Marena has even begun “volunteer socializing” with cats at our local animal shelter. We jump in my Forester and head to the shelter most weekends. I’m glad she can take her love for cats and use it in a way that benefits not only her, but also the lives of these cats.  

— Heather Eger, Fayetteville, Pennsylvania