Cats are once again being discriminated against, not only in favor of dogs, but
Miniature Horses, as well!
Yes, that is a cat. On a leash. In the halls of Congress. Yes. That Congress.
And yes, you did read that right. Meet Nicky, the trained and registered Service Dog .
Nicky Rheinstein, aka #SpaceCat, has met all the canine training requirements of a Service Animal to his human, Sports Broadcasting Hall of Famer Linda Rheinstein. For Linda, a 10 year (and counting) survivor of Breast Cancer, Nicky acts as an immune system alarm, gifted with the ability to sense/smell a crash coming. As Linda will tell you, “Nicky is the reason that I am alive today and able to work—Pandemic or not. And that is no exaggeration.”
And yet, in order to do his job as a cat, he had to be classified as a dog.
With Nicky constantly at her side, either leashed or in his stroller, he has become the mascot for Rheinstein’s venture, Space Games Federation®, serving as Good Will Ambassador to all things, space, sports and Equal Space™. As #SpaceCat he’s currently part of the grassroots movement to help secure a Nobel Peace Prize for the International Space Station (#Nobel4ISS), because Nicky’s story speaks to overcoming perceptions, breaking molds, and promoting the belief in leveling the playing field for all. Including cats.
But his new crusade is a true game-changer; Getting cats officially recognized and accredited as Medical Service animals. Just like dogs. Or Miniature Horses, (yes, those again).
Abuses of service animal policies, in particular the rise of “emotional support” claims, do happen. But in Linda’s view, that should not preclude the needs and rights of those who legitimately require effective feline service animals.
The answer lies in stricter requirements and training protocols for Medical Service Animals, not banning cats. Nicky, for one, is quieter, smaller, and better behaved than many a ESA dog, or for that matter babies without fur.
Take a deeper dive into this vital story (and get answers to some of the questions this article has raised), with Nicky’s story and the Change.org petition to the Current U.S. Senate Committee.
So while your cat may not be a political activist or social media Influencer, when your life depends on the skills only a trained Medical Service
Animal can provide, it’s time to act. Join Linda and Nicky in their campaign for recognizing cats as true service animals by signing here.
You have the power to unleash the next wave of change that accompanies the establishment of Equal Space.
Even if you and your cat are just walking down your own hallways.