Lonely Aberdeen woman can’t find acceptance for her and her cat

Joey the cat
Joey the cat

A woman with Asperger’s is considering leaving Aberdeen- claiming she can’t find acceptance for her and her pet cat.

Kate Godfrey, who lives in the Bridge of Don area, has a letter from her doctor confirming Joey is her assistance cat.

She relies on the cat for emotional support and finds it comforting to have him by her side when she goes out to groups and activities.

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But she claims she has been asked to leave groups due to the cat, and said she is now so lonely she may need to move elsewhere.

The pensioner says a wide range of organisations, from churches to social clubs to libraries, won’t allow her and Joey to take part.

Ms Godfrey said: “I have lived in Aberdeen for 16 months in two areas.

“I am elderly and have Asperger’s but  I like to be actively involved in the community.

“My assistance pet comes everywhere with me. He is my emotional support and I have a note from my doctor to confirm this.

“Joey himself was blessed at Insch church but some churches say that cats are not on the same level as dogs.”

While therapy dogs are becoming increasingly popular, with even Aberdeen Airport rolling out their own canine team of calmers this year, Ms Godfrey believes cats aren’t seen in the same light.

Although dogs generally require a more active lifestyle, some people find the more sedentary nature of cats fit into their lives better.

Cats are now also being taken on for therapy – with a recent petition gaining almost 10,000 signatures asking for therapy animals to be legally recognised like guide dogs.

Ms Godfrey said that at one church, she was physically stopped from going in with Joey due to some people being allergic to cats.

She added: “I should think organisations would want to increase the number of members and most people don’t have any reactions to Joey.

“I go days without seeing a human being to speak to.

“I feel lonely and isolated.  I think if one lives in a community, one should feel like they belong. Aberdeen has made it clear that it does not want me.”