Cats may love small spaces, but that doesn’t mean they should to be locked up in one for life.
This emaciated two-year-old cat, Samuel, was rescued from a hoarding situation in Houston, where he had clearly spent most of his young life locked inside a crate. He was suffering from a severe case of neglect – and unfortunately, much more as a direct result.
Additional veterinary testing determined that Samuel was also was anemic, underweight, and FIV-positive, with kidney and liver dysfunction, bad teeth, and a corneal ulcer in one eye. He was also so mangy and dirty that his eyes were crusted shut. “As a vet tech and a long time rescuer, I knew many would be turned off by how awful Samuel looked,” said Leslie, one of the vet techs involved in the cat’s rescue, told Love Meow. “I just kept saying that there was a healthy, handsome kitty in there, just waiting to bloom.”
A Houston-based rescue and foster group called Save A Purrfect Cat Rescue quickly volunteered to be Samuel’s “freedom ride,” and even footed his extensive medical bill. He responded well to his treatments, gained weight, opened his eyes, and once he was able, joined Leslie’s family as her new foster pet.
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“In all my years, he was the most emotionally damaged cat I’ve ever known,” Leslie told Love Meow, describing a cat spooked by his own shadow and his reflection in the window. Not only did Samuel refuse to enter his cat carrier, he shunned the usual fixtures of feline comfort – soft sofas, cushy chairs and cat beds – as well as all the cats and people in Leslie’s house.
Months of snuggles finally transformed Samuel into a friendly and healthy cat, albeit one who harbored an understandable shyness around strangers. That changed one afternoon, Leslie recalls, when a gentleman named Bryan came in looking to adopt after losing a furry friend to cancer.
“I was frankly stunned at how Sam acted,” Leslie recalled, guessing Byran’s quiet, calm demeanor had put Samuel at ease. “At some point in the meeting, Samuel walked over to me and mewed a few times – Sam is not a talker – then walked over to Bryan.”
After 10 months, Leslie told Love Meow, “Samuel had moved from hoarded to happy, from sick to healthy, from starving to full.”
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