This story originally appeared at American Web Media.
Everybody knows that life is full of surprises, but Joe was still caught off guard to find a unknown stray sneaking food from his own cat’s bowl one morning. The cat’s mangey, miserable appearance caused the man to instantly pity the animal, whose eyes also appeared to be glued shut.
Rather than shoo it away, the Palm Beach, Florida-resident found himself calling the Animal Friends Project, determined not to let this unfortunate animal suffer any further. “He said Cotton came out of nowhere and started eating from the bowl of food he had for his cat,” the rescue’s founder, Carmen Weinberg, told Love Meow, recalling how Joe called to alert her to this hungry stray.
Quite sadly, the cat’s health issues extended well beyond hunger. The animal’s skin was covered in mange, which was so pervasive it had covered his eyes so that the poor animal couldn’t see. “He had been walking outdoors completely blind,” Weinberg told The Huffington Post of the forgotten white feline who would come to be known as Cotton.
Joe eventually lured Cotton, who was understandably wary of humans, into his other cat’s carrier with food, which this starving creature was unable to resist. The pair drove out to meet Weinberg, who in turn brought Cotton to Justin Bartlett Animal Hospital, which confirmed that the cat was seriously dehydrated, malnourished, and infected with mange.
Despite his litany of health issues, Cotton remained a model cat patient, according to Weinberg, who already saw the cat’s sweet, soft, and trusting personality. “He purred the whole time they were examining him! He received antibiotics, a dose of Revolution and fluids and we went home. Fortunately, I had a spare bedroom where he could stay.”
“My husband Don, son Carlos, and daughter Elisa are used to dealing with cats with many illnesses. We knew that if we took some precautions, that we could still touch and love Cotton to help him heal,” she said.
The family lovingly soothed Cotton’s skin with water and coconut oil, and the animal eventually started to heal. All that tender loving care had eventually paid off, because Cotton was finally able to open his eyes again and gaze upon the world for the first time in a while.
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