September 9th, 2022
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator
When you have bipolar disorder, it can often feel like nothing in life comes easy. Navigating the mental healthcare system, finding the medication and dosage that works best for you, battling stigma, and experiencing the extremes of both positive and negative emotions can be exhausting. But every once in a while, therapy might just walk right through your door.
Several winters ago, Brianna noticed a flash of orange outside amidst the white blanket of snow. As she peered through the falling snowflakes, she could tell that the flash was in fact a cat – perhaps feral, or possibly abandoned by their family. Brianna couldn’t let the cat stay outside in the cold, so she put her coat on and went about catching the mysterious feline.
Once safe inside a warm home, the orange cat relaxed and took an immediate liking to Brianna. The feeling was mutual, and over the coming months Brianna and Adora developed a close and therapeutic bond. Whether she had been feral or lived with a family, Adora had a natural ability to comfort Brianna when her bipolar disorder left her feeling manic and out of control. Her calm purring helped Brianna find stability once again, so much so that she worked with her therapist to have Adora certified as an emotional support animal.
Brianna had never planned to adopt a cat, but now she couldn’t live without her Adora.
It was clear when Brianna rescued Adora that she had been outside for a long time. The veterinarian estimated she was about nine years old, and the state of her teeth reflected her age. She was nevertheless a healthy cat. But now at approximately 12 years old, Adora was showing signs that something wasn’t quite right.
Brianna brought Adora to the veterinarian when she started to seemingly have trouble breathing. Her blood work revealed that her immune system was reacting to something, and while the veterinarian couldn’t rule out certain possibilities like asthma, allergies, herpes, or lungworm, the likeliest explanation was that her teeth had become severely infected. Brianna took home a five-day lungworm treatment, antibiotics to help against an infection, and hypoallergenic food to see if they would help with Adora’s troubled breathing. Still, Adora’s best chance at feeling well once again and staying by Brianna’s side was to undergo dental surgery.
Neither Brianna nor her roommate made very much money at their jobs, and a significant portion of the income they did make went to rent and other expenses. They were fortunate to have a few friends willing to chip in to help with Adora’s surgery, and Brianna was focused on fundraising for the rest of the cost. Even so, Adora urgently needed the surgery, leaving very little time to save enough money.
Losing Adora would devastate Brianna – and potentially worsen the effects of her bipolar disorder. She owed a debt of gratitude to her little orange kitty for the peace, love, and joy Adora had brought in from the snow. Brianna was determined to get Adora the dental surgery that would give them the time together that they both needed and deserved, so she searched online and applied for a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant.
Because we can always count on the support of our generous FurEver Friends, we can answer the call when families like Brianna and Adora need help. As soon as she learned her Urgent Care grant application had been approved, Brianna brought Adora in for her critical dental surgery.
She may have lost a lot of teeth, but today Adora is back at home with Brianna enjoying plate after plate of wet food and all the love a kitty could need.