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Unwanted Shelter Cat And An Autistic Girl Form A Special Bond And Change Each Other’s Worlds

Unwanted Shelter Cat And An Autistic Girl Form A Special Bond And Change Each Other’s Worlds

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It’s no secret that cats are great therapy animals, especially for children with autism. Their presence enables kids to learn important social skills, like sharing and empathy, and offers a sense of calmness, comfort, friendship, and emotional support. 

Their rhythmic movements, like kneading, or that irresistible purring reduce anxiety, improve emotional regulation, and provide sensory stimulation which many kids on the autistic spectrum find soothing. 

Growing up with cats and spending time with them teaches kids the importance of friendship and connection with others around them. 

A young mom discovered just how true this was when she adopted a cat from a shelter for her daughter, Jade, who is autistic.

Jade’s Life Before Trubs Came Along

little girl leaning off the couch
Credit: Mutual Rescue

All Jade’s mom ever wanted was a sense of normalcy for her daughter. Little did she know, a cat from the shelter that no one else wanted would become the answer to her prayers. 

Jade was a typical playful and loving girl, but her autism made certain aspects of daily life challenging, especially social interactions with other kids.

She didn’t know how to interact with kids, got very frustrated when things didn’t go as she planned, and struggled to cope with a lot of stuff during the day.

girl and mom hugging
Credit: Mutual Rescue

Bedtime was particularly difficult for Jade. Her mom said:

“When it was time for bed, all of her senses would kick into overdrive and it was a nightmare. Jade was very sensitive to light. Hot or cold would set her off, and very loud sounds. She’d get overstimulated, and she wouldn’t know how to calm herself down. She’d cover her ears, she’d rock back and forth, and she’d start crying, screaming, kicking her feet. It was awful every night.”

It was a nightly struggle that left both Jade and her family desperate for a solution.

Meeting Trubs

drawing of girl holding a cat
Credit: Mutual Rescue

One day, Jade’s parents mixed up the keys, and she and her mom found themselves locked out of their house. 

To avoid spending most of the day sitting outside on the front porch, Jade’s mom asked her how she would like to pass the time. Jade excitedly replied, “I want to go pet the kitties, please!” 

So, they went to a local shelter where Jade was immediately drawn to a lump underneath a blanket. She took the blanket off and smiled: The “lump” was actually a cat!

drawing of girl covering a cat with blanket
Credit: Mutual Rescue

Jade and her mom were informed that the cat, whose name was Double Trouble, had been in the shelter for five years. 

He was so skinny, had a viral disease, no teeth, and had to receive IV fluids. He was also extremely unsociable and withdrawn, which was the reason he hadn’t been adopted before. 

Double Trouble looked so miserable as though he was simply waiting to pass away.

drawing of cat in girl's lap
Credit: Mutual Rescue

A cat that had been unapproachable by many for so long suddenly got a new fan: Jade! 

The little girl was so interested in him that she started talking with him, petting him, and asking him questions. 

The moment she stood up and walked away, Double Trouble followed her. So, she sat down, and he came up, sat right in her lap, and started purring.

 At that moment, time at the shelter stopped. Jade’s mother said:

“The director was shocked and started to cry. She said he had never been social to anyone before.”

Everyone could tell that Jade and Double Trouble formed a strong bond. So, when Jade looked at her mom and asked if they could take the kitty home, she simply couldn’t say no.

How Jade and Trubs Saved Each Other

close-up photo of girl and a cat
Credit: Mutual Rescue

Once home, the family renamed the cat Trubs. 

That first night, as usual, Jade struggled with her bedtime routine. Her mom was doing her best to calm her down but wasn’t very successful. 

She soon noticed Trubs entering the room as if he had a mission to complete. He quickly jumped onto Jade’s bed and started kneading his paws against her chest, which provided instant relief for Jade. 

She smiled and soon peacefully fell asleep. For her mom, it was a true miracle!

two girls coloring
Credit: Mutual Rescue

From that night on, Jade and Trubs had their own bedtime routine. He would wait for her in her bedroom and then lie with her in bed until they both fell asleep. 

Trubs didn’t just help Jade at bedtime; his presence boosted her confidence and social skills, significantly improving her performance at school and her willingness to try new activities. 

As a result, Jade blossomed into a more confident and engaged child, all thanks to her bond with Trubs.

girl petting the cat
Credit: Mutual Rescue

Trubs himself underwent a transformation. His health significantly improved to the point where he no longer required daily medication or weekly IV fluids. 

No longer the sickly, unsociable cat from the shelter, he became healthy, playful, and affectionate. 

Together, Jade and Trubs changed each other’s lives for the better. As Jade’s mom fondly said:

“Adopting this little cat that no one wanted has been the best decision that we’ve ever made.”

All those years of struggling led them to that moment of peace. As a parent, what more could Jade’s mom ask for?

girl making a heart shape with hands while looking at cat
Credit: Mutual Rescue

I hope you’ve enjoyed this rescue story as much as I did. 

It was brought to us by Mutual Rescue – a national initiative created by Humane Society Silicon Valley, whose mission is to change the conversation around animal welfare, by producing short documentary films. 

If you’re moved by Jade and Trubs’ journey, check out the Mutual Rescue film about their story, and maybe grab some tissues first – it’s a heart-warmer! For more inspiring tales, visit their YouTube channel

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