We have a lot of field mice. Recently we got an outdoor cat to help with the problem. We had had the cat for about two weeks when there was an accident. As my husband was backing out of the driveway, the cat darted under the van. Unfortunately, he hit the cat.
Jack, the cat, spent about a week at the vet receiving treatment. There was nothing crushed or broken. But there was much damage done to the leg. After a few days of treatment, the vet realized the treatment wasn’t working. We ended up making the decision to amputate his front right leg.
Jack stayed at the vet for another two weeks or so. By the time we got him home, he was walking on three legs like it was the most natural thing. When I shared Jack’s story on Facebook, everyone was so positive that Jack would do fine with three legs. Someone even said, “Amazing how the brain and body can compromise and move forward.” It is pretty amazing.
One of my sons has a physical disability. He uses a wheelchair and a communication device. So many times, I witness professionals putting limits on him. They assume that there are certain things he will never be able to do. Sometimes they don’t even give him the opportunity to prove them wrong. They only see a boy using a wheelchair and they lower their expectations.
It’s so interesting to me how different these two situations are. People sometimes seem to have more faith in a cat than they do in people with disabilities. They presume competence in a cat. It seemed to be a given that Jack was going to be fine with three legs.
But when it comes to a person with a disability, people seem to doubt their ability. We need to start believing that anything is possible…in humans as well as animals! We need to presume competence in a person with a disability as well until proven otherwise.
Connecting with other parents and finding ways to advocate for people with disabilities are ways to share ideas and change minds.