When Samuel arrived at BARC animal shelter in Houston, he was in terrible shape. The poor cat had been trapped in a tiny cat carrier for most of his life. On top of that, he had mange that was so bad his eyes had swollen shut, and he also had many other medical issues. BARC didn’t think the suffering cat was going to make it, and so they put him on their euthanasia list.
But just hours before Samuel was scheduled to be euthanized, a BARC employee decided to put his photo on Pet Harbor. And thankfully, vet tech Leslie Raines stumbled upon it.
“Somebody had posted a picture of a really skinny cat that had tested positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). I knew that wouldn’t give him a good start at trying to get out of the shelter, and he just looked so pathetic,” Raines told The Dodo. “So I posted to some of the rescue groups saying that if I could get backing I would foster him.”
The rescue group Save A Purrfect Cat Rescue agreed to take him in, and one of Raines’ clients at the veterinary clinic said they would pick Samuel up from BARC. Just like that, Samuel had a second chance at life!
Samuel arrived at Raines’ veterinary clinic where he had a very thorough check-up. On top of the mange and FIV, he was also incredibly thin, and he had pressure wounds. Raines was worried Samuel wasn’t going to make it, but the strong cat pulled through.
Sam, loving the belly rubs:). And, what a belly! He's almost doubled his weight since rescue!💜🐾❤️
Posted by Leslie Raines on Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Raines took Samuel home, where he adjusted to his new space. At first, he wouldn’t leave the top of his cat carrier, his safe space. But slowly, he began moving away from the carrier and exploring the rest of the house.
“As he started coming out of his shell more and more, it was as if he had to learn how to be a cat,” Raines said. “He didn’t know how to play. If you put him on a piece of furniture he would get down, and walking on the floor was like hot coals.”
As Samuel got more comfortable in his home, he also started healing. His mange cleared up, and he was finally able to open his eyes. He also started to put on weight, and his fur grew back.
After a year in Raines’ home, Samuel was finally well enough for Raines to begin looking for forever homes for him. Raines knew Samuel needed a very special home, and she thoroughly vetted potential adopters. Nobody hit the mark—until she met Bryan Smith. Smith had lost his beloved Main Coon to cancer the year before, and he was finally ready to give another cat a loving home.
“The day I met Bryan, we brought [Samuel] up to the clinic, and Bryan just sat down on the floor next to the kennel and started talking to him. The look on Samuel’s face was completely different than it had ever been — he just relaxed,” Raines said.
Even though Smith seemed perfect and Samuel seemed very happy, Raines was still nervous. But then, Samuel walked up to Raines, meowed at her, and then walked over to Smith. Raines immediately relaxed—Samuel was telling her he was ready to move on.
Now, Samuel has been living with Smith for over a year. Samuel loves everything about living with Smith, and he has made their house his home.
After everything he went through, Samuel needed a lot of love and care to heal. But thankfully, Samuel has a wonderful support system behind him, and they’ve helped him transform into a beautiful, happy cat.
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Source: The Dodo