Anyone who has earned the love of a cat knows of magic. The bond and trust that is freely given is the definition of true love and inspurration. Uncle to two gorgeous Siberian Forest cat brothers, blue-eyed Nikki Roo and handsome house panther Soysauce (a.k.a Sawyer), Nick Eelhart has found his meowtivation to enjoy life in a way he never thought possible. And it’s as simple as taking peaceful daily walks.
But Nick’s daily walks are taken with his favorite feline’s close by his side.
Nick suffers from Schizoaffective disorder, accompanied by bipolar episodes. Experiencing auditory hallucinations with this disease makes it very difficult for Nick to comfortably have personal relationships. Heart wrenchingly, he admits there have been times he’s just been alone in a room screaming.
Managing this disorder through medicines primarily, the goal is to ideally prevent the mood altering and manic episodes from happening. In safe environments, introducing therapy animals has proven overwhelmingly successful at keeping sufferers calm and positive.
It was Nikki Roo and Sawyer owners, Marley and her boyfriend John, that first suggested Nick accompany them in their daily walks with the fabulous felines. And he was a bit hesitant. But the couple explained that he would also be a great help to them.
He would be assisting Sawyer overcome his hesitations with the great outdoors.
Both fluffy boys are litter-mates, adopted by Marley when they were 2 months old. The cats began leash training and backyard exploring as soon as they arrived home as kittens. Not something taught quickly, their parents have patiently and rewardingly worked with the cats consistently. Now a little over 4 years old, Nikki is the fearless feline, but Sawyer is a bit more reserved.
Marley and John recruited Nick as Sawyers buddy on daily walks. The hope was that the pair would help each other’s confidence in dealing with the outside world–both human related and environmental.
Cautiously, Sawyer and Nick stepped onto the porch together. Supporting each other down one step, then another, they soon gained the courage to boldly traverse the great unknown wilderness.
Now, nothing can stop these bold trailblazers on their exciting daily walks!
The Norwegian Forest cat has an insulated, waterproof double coat genetically designed to protect them in the cold of winter. So their home in Alberta, Canada, won’t stop them from enjoying walks–even in winter! They are safely “clothed” though as exposure to drastic temperatures can still be dangerous. Tufted paws and a full fluffy coat help suit these fur-babies for an Arctic lifestyle, not something most cats enjoy.
Happy to accompany their human trio, these two photogenic brothers are purrfectly happy taking in the fresh air.
Nick admits now that being around the beautiful Sawyer has helped him open up and feel again; an amazing step in managing his condition! We couldn’t be happier to hear the ameowzing success they have achieved together.
Be sure to follow Nikki Roo and Soysauce on Instagram and Facebook to show your support and love for these adorable adventurers!
BREAKING NEWS (released July 2018):
Just this morning, Nikki and Sawyers mom shared an update on the magnificent duo’s Facebook page. Sadly, Sawyer now has his own medical condition to battle.
At his last annual checkup, our vet discovered a significant heart murmur. Over the past few weeks Sawyer has undergone xrays, blood testing, and an ultrasound to find out why.
We are saddened to announce he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The muscle of the left atrium of his heart is growing too thick, and making it difficult for him to pump blood through it. At the moment, he is asymptomatic.
The prognosis of cats diagnosed with this disease varies greatly, so all we can do is wait and see how his body responds to the medication. He will undergo an ultrasound every 4-6 months to check on the dilation of his left atrium, and receive a ration of treats double that of the usual every day.
Sawyer has touched our lives in ways much greater than we could’ve ever imagined, and so we would like to dedicate this post as a thank you to him. ~ meowm (Marley), cat-dad (John) and uncle Nick.
Our purrs and prayers go out to Soysauce and his entire family. With the will and strength he has shown overcoming his fears and reservations conquering mountainous terrains, that strength will remain furever as an inspiration to all! <3
Prayers on the way for all of you
I once had a car, Orrie, who was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy when he was six years ago. I took him every six months to a cardiologist for an electrocardiogram. Dr. Moses put him on a beta blocker and he got 1/4 a tablet of 81 mg. aspirin every 3 days. Orrie lived until he was almost 18. He died from squamous cell cancer, not from his heart.
Be encouraged. I pray that Sawyer has a long, quality life remaining.