University Helps 9-year-old With Autism Keep His Therapy Cat

therapy cat

When a serious illness threatened the life of Peyton Weidrick’s cat, the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Veterinary Medicine stepped in to help.

At 6-years-old Peyton was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and sensory processing disorder. It’s often difficult for him to transition between tasks or activities. Some days he would have meltdowns when coming home from school. But once he was graced with two kittens, things got much better. The cats allow him to manage many of his frustrations. Now, after school he picks them up and rubs his face in their fur.

Peyton has two cats – Clijsters and Stousur, both named after well known female tennis players. If he ever gets upset he’ll take one of the cats to his room to cuddle. It’s his way to calm down and self-regulate in order to better communicate what he’s feeling.

It came as devastating news when his mother, Karlinda, found out Clijsters needed a $2,000 dental procedure. It had come up unexpectedly and the surgery was definitely not within their family’s budget. They began to worry at thought of having to give up the adored cat. In an effort to keep Clijsters, Karlinda reached out to the Good Samaritan Fund at the local university.

The fund is intended to help animals who are ownerless or whose owners are aren’t able to afford treatments by giving free or discounted services. The program was established in 2011 but it is solely supported by outside donations. So it was suggested that Karlinda start a GoFundme account. At first she was hesitant because she didn’t believe any one would give money to a cat. However, support came flooded from everywhere. Soon she was able to raise $950 which helped cover all the aftercare and medicine for the cherished cat.

The surgery was successful! Clijsters is healthy and full of energy, but most importantly Peyton is happy to have his friend back again.

Written by Raiza Belarmino