When this cat was brought to an animal shelter in Texas, it was scary to look at. The cat was two years old and had spent all that time in a small, cramped plastic cage used to carry cats.
The cat’s name was Samuel. He was rescued from the home of his owner, who was suffering from «hoarder syndrome,» meaning he had turned his house into a garbage dump. The owner paid no attention to the garbage, the stench, or his appearance; it was a miracle that he found time to feed the cat at all, or Samuel would have died a long time ago.
The cat was emaciated, covered in urine and feces, his fur was in a terrible state, and his eyes had not opened for a long time because of a purulent crust. But when he was taken out of the carrier, he reached out to people and purred!
Unfortunately, Samuel ended up in a regular city shelter, where cats and dogs are put to sleep after a certain period of time, during which they must find an owner. Without treatment, Samuel had no chance of survival, but he got lucky.
Veterinary assistant Leslie Raines from Houston saw the picture of the poor cat on social media, and she immediately arranged with Purrfect Cat Rescue, an animal advocacy group, to work with them to take custody of the cat and begin treating him.
That same day, Samuel was brought to Raines’ vet’s office for a checkup. The cat’s condition was depressing. He was anemic, had scabies spots in his fur, had corneal damage in one eye, his teeth were in bad shape even though the cat was still very young, had poor liver and kidney function and on top of that the cat tested positive for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency).
«I have worked as a veterinary assistant and animal rescuer for many years, and I understand that many people would call Samuel’s appearance unpleasant when they saw him. But I know that somewhere inside there is a healthy and beautiful cat just waiting to be helped,» says Leslie Raines.
Purrfect Cat Rescue decided to cover all of Samuel’s medical expenses and the cat himself proved to be very brave, he tolerated all of the necessary injections, medications and other unpleasant procedures without any resistance and began to put on weight well after the treatment began.
Once Samuel’s scabies and eyes were cured, Leslie began taking him to her home to care for him, pet him, caress him, and show the suffering cat that human company can be very enjoyable.
«In all these years, I haven’t seen a more emotionally damaged cat than little Samuel,» the woman confessed.
Samuel persevered and determinedly pursued the road to recovery. And it was a long process, with many obstacles. But the little furry fighter didn’t give up.
At home at Leslie’s, Samuel was afraid to climb inside the carrier and preferred to sit on top of it. Perhaps his fear of the carrier was now permanently ingrained in his soul. He was also afraid of his reflection in the windows and even just walking around the house, he didn’t know what it was. For months as Samuel’s recovery and treatment progressed he gradually got used to not being afraid of the couch, the chair and the bed. He just didn’t realize it was possible to lie comfortably on these things.
He had to re-learn how to walk on his paws, how to get used to human companionship, and how not to be afraid of other cats. Gradually, Samuel bonded with Leslie and purred very loudly when she stroked him on his long, sprouted fur.
«He turned out to be very sweet and affectionate, and when I brought little kittens into the house for nursing, Samuel would come up to them, sit next to them, and even ‘talk’ to them. And they could aggressively play with his tail and he would not chase them away and was very patient.
When the moment finally came when the cat was healthy and could find a permanent owner, there was a new problematic period. The cat was very afraid of other people. But one day a man named Brian came along and found the key to Samuel’s character.
«Brian’s quiet and calm demeanor had an effect on Samuel and his behavior amazed me. While we were talking with Brian, Samuel came up to me and meowed several times, even though he is usually quiet. Then he came up to Brian.»
Brian was reminded of Samuel, his old cat who had died of cancer. When they met, there was immediately a special bond between them.
«My tears just flowed with happiness at that moment!» admits Leslie, «It was like Samuel was saying, ‘Thank you and goodbye. It’s silly, but it’s true.
A full 10 months have passed since Samuel went to Leslie, and in that time he has gone from a skinny cat to a well-fed cat, from a totally sick, almost dying cat to a healthy cat, from a miserable and tortured cat to a happy, meowing, happy cat.
Samuel will have many good years ahead and this story has an ending like a good fairy tale. Samuel’s life is essentially just now really beginning.