You’ve probably heard of a service dog, but have you ever heard of a service cat? Well, I have one and I would like to introduce you to her since many people are unfamiliar with this type of service animal.
I adopted my cat, Marilyn, from a local organization that places service cats in folk’s homes. This was a good fit for me as I really don’t like dogs, although someday I probably will need to have one. When Marilyn arrived at 5-months-old, she had to stay with me until she’s a year-old before being allowed to become a service cat. Now that she is a year-old, she has graduated to become a service cat.
Marilyn helps me in a lot of different ways. Since I have Diabetes Type 2, her main goal is to help watch my blood sugar because my doctor doesn’t have me testing right now. For instance, over Christmas we were at my parents’ house during the day. In the morning, I was feeling fine, then about 15 minutes after I took my medication, I was suddenly tired and blah. I laid down on the couch with Marilyn, and she started shaking, so I knew that my sugar was low. Knowing this, I ate a small piece of chocolate and started feeling fine again after a few minutes.
Since I also have PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Traumatic Stress Disorder), Marilyn plays double duty. She’s a comfort animal as well, keeping me calm so that I don’t have a panic attack when we go out in public. Furthermore, at night she sleeps with me so that I can get a good night’s worth of rest (in that way she may be helping with my MS too).
There aren’t many people who have heard of service cats now. However, since Marilyn has a badge, just like a service dog, she’s allowed to go anywhere that a service dog can go. Of course, I do get the occasional question. Fortunately, I have the law written on the back of her badge, which I wear about my neck when we leave home. So, I can offer it to anyone who’s interested. As of today, there’s only been one person who’s really questioned this and Marilyn goes to stores, museums and restaurants with us all the time.
Now that you know about service cats, you can clearly see that they’re very beneficial to their owners.
Do you think that a service animal would benefit you? Of course, if you already have a service animal, I’d love to have you write about it.
Written by: Maria Hoffman (read more about me here)