Blind cat with neurological condition helps 88-year-old grandmother fight cancer
The special needs cat named Donny spends a lot of time with the grandmother while she is in hospital.
One day when he was still a kitten, Donny was found very sick wandering a parking lot.
In desperate need of help, he was rescued by North Shore Animal League America in New York.
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The staffers did everything they could to nurse him back to health.
Donny’s eyes were underdeveloped rendering them useless, leading to the decision to remove the eyes.
Shortly after the surgery, they discovered he also suffers from cerebellar hypoplasia, a neurological condition causing severe balance issues.
It can be difficult to find homes for special needs animals so while waiting for his new family he was put in a foster home with Beth Stern, an avid fosterer.
THE TURNAROUND FOR DONNY
It didn’t take long before Donny was found by Susan Smith. In March 2016 she was scrolling through Instagram and saw the post about Donny, then just 3 months old.
She and her husband were not looking to adopt another cat, but they decided to meet him and then adopted him.
At their home in Hicksville, New York Donny quickly found his way around the house.
DONNY AS THERAPY CAT
Spending time with him revealed him to be curious and empathic and wanting to share his gifts Donny became a certified therapy cat, joining NSALA’s Outreach Program.
Through this program Donny made regular visits to various facilities and nursing homes, interacting with the residents and patients. When Smith’s mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and moved to the hospital she took Donny regularly to visit her.
Her 88-year-old mother spent more than a month in hospital receiving radiation treatments.
“I immediately started bringing Donny there to cheer her up and it worked. He would lay on her for hours while she petted him, often both falling asleep.”
Smith’s mother got the news after 17 radiation treatments that she was cancer-free.
Donny regularly visits her at home. when not there he frequents retirement homes and patients of treatment facilities for those with dementia.
A star from the 'Carol Burnett Show' has recently been diagnosed with dementia and is reported to be barely responsive.
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Susan Smith and Weeble crossed paths and she adopted him also being a special needs cat. Weeble is currently a therapy cat in training with a story to share, for more on Weeble here.