Salem, who had two broken legs when he was rescued, was only 7 weeks old. He immediately recovered and thrived after being treated at the clinic, and he ended up blooming into the sassiest, most confident cat his family had ever known.
“If you don’t get up at 8 a.m. sharp to feed him, he’ll sit on top of you and swat your face or yank your hair until you wake up,” Salem’s mother, Hailee Weader, told The Dodo. “He’ll stroll around the house meowing or ‘talking’ to us all and following us everywhere, including the shower.” If we ignore him or he doesn’t like anything, he’ll go locate the nearest plant, knock it off the windowsill or table, and make a mess of it.”
Despite his strong convictions, Salem is also incredibly sensitive to other people’s feelings, particularly his mother’s. As Salem matured, it became evident to Weader that, despite the fact that she had rescued him, he would end up saving her in a different way.
“If I’m having a horrible day or a panic attack, he’ll come sit on me or nuzzle alongside me and start massaging my legs and purring,” Weader explained. “He’s undoubtedly been a comfort to me over the last year.”
As Weader began to plan for her final year of college, she realized she couldn’t do it without Salem, so he officially became her college emotional support cat.
“He was kind of like a little celebrity around campus, and whether we were walking or I was carrying him in his cat stroller, people would stop us and speak or pet him for a long,” Weader explained.
When graduation came along, Weader realized that, like most things, she couldn’t accomplish it without Salem. He’d been such an important part of her college experience and deserved to graduate as well, so she decided to get him his own cap and gown so he could graduate with her with a degree in emotional support.
Due to the epidemic, the graduation was arranged as a drive-by ceremony, and Salem rode proudly behind his mother, delighted to be a part of her big day. People couldn’t get enough of Salem and his graduation costume, which was understandable.
“Everyone was fawning and adoring his costume,” Weader recalled. “Everything worked well, and we were able to enjoy our ceremony and celebrate.”
Weader had no clue when she first met Salem that he would eventually be able to help her through so much in life. Salem, on the other hand, is more than delighted to repay the favor after everything his mother has done for him.