Gusman was looking for a therapy animal to help manage his PTSD. Enter, Meatloaf.
- Posted on Aug 29, 2018
When military veteran Steve Gusman was looking for a therapy animal to help him with his PTSD, he never thought he’d find just what he needed in a 30-pound rescue cat named Meatloaf.
Meatloaf was given to King’s Harvest Animal Shelter in Davenport, Iowa after his previous owners became unable to care for him. Workers at the shelter were shocked by his weight—he clocked in at more than 20 pounds over the average cat’s weight. It was even more surprising given that he was twelve years old, and cats typically lose weight as they age.
"He’s a majesty just to look at. If you were here and you could see him, it’s wonderful," Rochelle Dougall, assistant director of the shelter told The Des Moines Register. "It’s kind of wild and crazy—how did he get to 30 pounds in the first place?"
The shelter posted a picture of Meatloaf on Facebook and the cat became a viral sensation. The Des Moines Register reports that the shelter was inundated with calls and visits—but no one was the right fit. Meatloaf loves humans, but doesn’t get along well with other cats and dogs. He needed a calm, pet and child-free environment.
Enter Gusman. He needed an animal that was calm and wouldn’t startle him by dashing to and fro. An older cat like Meatloaf, who needed physical activity, but wasn’t hyperactive, seemed like a perfect fit.
Gusman saw a news story about Meatloaf and felt a connection, so he decided to meet the cat in person.
“They got along perfectly well,” Mary Armstrong, Gusman’s fiancé, told KWQC. “They both just sat on the floor and paid attention to each other.”
Gusman’s application for adoption was accepted, and he took Meatloaf home in a dog carrier.
The vet isn’t the only one to benefit from Meatloaf’s adoption. Visits to the shelter increased while he was there and employees are hopeful even more animals will be adopted because of this cuddly cat.