Monday, August 31, 2009

Service Animals: The Cat's Meow

Today is the end of an era. My textless era, that is.

Yes, at 2:27pm (EDT) today, I sent my first text message ever. Naturally, to Emily.

Meanwhile, Samuel, a 14-year-old Aspie, is training service cats for autists and Aspies. He's preparing them to, among other things, notice when the owner is slipping back into compulsive or repetitive behavior and interrupt it, soothe an owner feeling anxious or even starting to have a meltdown, help an owner navigate social situations and carry tags letting others know the owner's name and neurological situation (and in the case of a young owner perhaps the name and phone number of a parent).

Cats, being smaller than dogs, may be perceived as less threatening by their owners and others. Also, cats may be both physically and emotionally (especially for autists and Aspies who needs lots of alone time) lower-maintenance creatures than dogs.

These cats were strays before he found them, meaning that he (and their future owners) may also be saving their lives.

Keep up the good work, Samuel!

(I'm only sorry I wasn't able to talk with Samuel himself. I received no response to an email I sent to the address on his site.)

Hat-tip: Anne Reed, trial lawyer and jury consultant.

1 comment:

M said...

Since I'm not really a pet person, I think I'd like to have a Service Pet Rock.

I think a pet of that nature would have excellent boundaries. It would be non-helpful, true, but it would also be non-harmful (unless you trip on it; anyway).