By Audrey Lodato, Executive Director
This is cat A1022805. We call him Bennett. He was found in a box at a firehouse in Manhattan and brought to New York City Animal Care and Control. He’s safe with Pets Alive now, just so you know. I’m telling you this because some of what follows is not so nice, and so I want to assure you ahead of time that it will work out fine.
The NYCACC publishes a list every night of all of the animals scheduled for euthanasia in the morning. It’s a horrible part of our jobs to look at this list but look at it we do, because if you don’t look, you can’t save them. The rescue group Urgent publicly shares the lists. You can see the cat one HERE and the dog one HERE – but remember that the people from Urgent are the good guys who are doing what they can to help the animals in NYC shelters. Be nice to them, because they aren’t the ones killing the animals. They are the ones working their tails off to get them safe.
Bennett showed up on the list last week and Sue, who works in our adoptions and intakes department, sent me a text with a link. “Look at this poor cat.” It said. And here was the photo of Bennett that came with it. Now, here’s a secret about me. I CAN NOT STAND it when an animal is skinny. I freak out and have an overwhelming urge to immediately feed them ten cans of food. It’s my kryptonite, and now you know. So when I saw in the description that Bennett weighed FOUR POUNDS, I immediately told Sue to pull him so that I could get him into foster at my house as soon as possible. Without hesitation Sue put in a pull request for Bennett and we waited for him to arrive.
When we pull a sick animal, we spend some time feeling REALLY anxious. You never quite know what will happen when the animal shows up. The big fear is that they will be much sicker than what the information provided let on, and that we may not be able to get them well. There is literally no worse feeling in the world than an animal finally getting to safety and then not making it because they were just too far-gone. Sometimes we get lucky and they look better than we anticipated. Bennett did not.
Bennett arrived via New Hope transport on Friday afternoon. I took the carrier into Janet’s office, and opened it. Inside was the most pathetic little cat I have ever seen – and that’s saying something. This poor guy was covered in his own feces. It was absolutely caked on. He was light as a feather. Dehydrated. Stumbling and having a hard time staying upright. And he also was purring. He poked his tiny head up and pushed it into my hand to be pet.
It took Sam, one of our volunteers, and I the better part of an hour to wash the feces off Bennett. He stood there like a champ the entire time, just letting us bathe him. I can imagine it must have felt nice. When we got him as clean as we possibly could, we wrapped him in towels, held him until he was dry, and then I took him home. He was so matted we couldn’t even brush him. We just cut off the largest ones and planned on him being groomed in the very near future.
With a vet appointment scheduled for the next morning, Bennett spent night one of his rescue bundled in a fleece blanket, on a heating bad, on a cat bed, in a crate in my spare bedroom. He slept like a rock.
The next morning I took him to Middlehope Veterinary Hospital in Newburgh, where they ran a myriad of tests. Bennett got IV fluids, a sedation and shave to remove all his matted and filthy fur, and a ton of medication to stop the diarrhea. He stayed hospitalized for two days while our vets tried to figure out what was causing the loose stool. ALL of Bennett’s testing came back negative or normal. Whatever happened to him, we think Bennett just didn’t have enough to eat. Bennett’s upset stomach seems to be caused by not eating for a LONG time, and then being free fed at NYCACC.
Bennett is now resting comfortably in his crate in my spare room. With no fur, he looks like an odd cross between a cat and a rat. It’s not the most attractive haircut, but it will grow out. You can see every bone in his painfully thin frame, but he’s already gained a half a pound.
Bennett has a long, long road ahead of him, and we hope that he makes it through. Being as severely malnourished as he is, it will be touch and go for a while, and we’ll all be praying that he gets better. There are some things we DO know about what’s next. Bennett won’t die covered in his own feces, alone, with no one to love him. Bennett won’t need to be afraid any longer. Bennett won’t be uncomfortable. Bennett won’t be hungry. Bennett won’t be cold. Bennett won’t be sad. Bennett will have all the love he wants, and then some.
When you support us financially, you make all of these things possible for EVERY animal we save. YOU ensure that NO ANIMAL we rescue is frightened, hungry, cold, sad or alone. We may have the hands that do the work, but we do it on behalf of all of our supporters. The love Bennett has now doesn’t just come from me. The love that Bennett has comes from you, too. YOU make it possible for us to save lives. So thank you. For Bennett. For all of them.
We firmly believe that there will come a day when every animal like Bennett is safe.
Thank you for helping us get one step closer each and every day to completing our mission.
If you’d like to sign up for a small monthly sponsorship and help save animals every day, you can do that HERE.
We truly appreciate your support and Bennett will too! We will post updates on his progress!
Filed in Animal Rescue, NYCACC by Audrey Lodato on Dec 26, 2014. There are 2 Comments