When Blair was only four years old, she was diagnosed with two rare autoimmune diseases: Kawasaki Disease and Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Because of this, Blair endured six months of constant visits to the hospital.
Now that Blair is eight, she still needs to go for infusions at the Regional every few weeks and to the IWK every couple of months.
“Blair is in her third year of infusions and physically she is doing great… but it is the mental part that she’s having a hard time with,” Blair’s mum, Annie, shared.
After being poked thousands of times, Blair developed a fear of needles. “Blair has bad PTSD and very bad anxiety,” Annie explained. “She told me she would love a big chubby cat to help her sleep at night and snuggle up with when she’s scared.”
Fate stepped in. Blair spotted Gussie up for adoption at the Cape Breton SPCA.
“Blair first saw Gussie on her daily SPCA kitty check,” Annie smiled. “We had been looking for several weeks to find that special kitty. Once she saw Gussie’s photo, she knew he was the one.”
Confident that Gussie was the perfect comfort cat, Blair and Annie dropped by the store to stock up on pet supplies. “She bought him everything he could ever dream of,” Annie giggled. “Then when we walked in, and she saw him… it was game over. She fell instantly in love with him. His little tongue was sticking out and she thought he was the cutest guy ever and never wanted to leave him.”
Before adopting Gussie, Blair was terrified to sleep in her own room. “We noticed Blair would always feel much safer with Odin, our pup, in the bed with her,” Annie explained. “But unfortunately, Odin would never stay the night. Blair would end up having bad panic attacks and end up in mommy’s bed.”
But everything changed with Gussie.
“The first night Gussie spent at our house I was expecting Blair to be up in her room crying or come out and tell me how she was still scared to sleep alone,” Annie guessed. “But I walked into her room, and she was laying upside down in her bed and Gussie was laying right beside her head. She had one hand over him. Blair slept in her own bed the entire night for the first time in almost three years by herself. Such a proud mommy moment.”
Just like that, they set all of Gussie’s goodies up in Blair’s room. “He would never leave her room and he was always on Blair’s bed,” Annie remarked. “After a month, we noticed him becoming a little more curious every day. Fast forward two months and you’ll find Gussie and Odin snuggling on Blair’s bed together. They like to play and chase each other and are becoming the best of friends.”
Patience with adopted pets is key. “Don’t give up on your adopted animals,” Annie exclaimed. “It takes time and patience for them to feel comfortable enough to show their true colours. It might take a week or more but eventually they will come out of their shell and show you all of the love they have to give. Time means everything.”
“Adoption is so important because these animals are just looking for love like us,” Annie continued. “I always feel adopted animals are the most grateful. Gussie is 5-6 years old and all he wants is pets, snuggles, and attention. Adopting gives you such a warm heart knowing you are able to provide them with another chance at a happy life.”
And in return, they’ll give you all the emotional support and love you need.
“Gussie plays his part,” Annie grinned. “Gussie makes Blair feel calm and relaxed when he’s asleep beside her in bed. Knowing he’s in there with her makes her nights much easier on her.”