No one dared to touch this stray cat that had a severe case of mange. One woman, however, couldn’t ignore his cries and took him in. One can hardly recognize that he’s the same cat after a year of tender loving care.
In 2017, a stray cat named Valentino was whimpering at the Los Angeles animal shelter, but nobody was willing to pay any attention to him due to his severe case of sarcoptic mange, which could be transmitted to humans. He was in a bad situation with his eyes swollen and sealed shut.
One day, Elaine Seamans, founder of the At-Choo Foundation, found him.
“He reached out with his little paw and made the tiniest meow,” Seamans told The Dodo. “It was like he was screaming without verbalizing it: ‘Please help me.’”
Seamans decided to comfort him and picked him up without wearing any gloves.
“When I picked him up, he put his little head on my shoulder,” Seamans said. “That was it. I had to get him out.”
She contacted Toby Wisneski, founder of Leave No Paws Behind, who accepted Valentino.
“There are times when it’s not an option to keep walking,” Seamans said. “You just have to stop. This was one of those times.”
Valentino was treated and soon recovered.
“He’s so loving,” Wisneski said. “You can tell he is very grateful. He will purr for them and try to rub up against [veterinary staff]. He knows he is safe.”
After Valentino recovered, a Los Angeles resident, Tania Menjivar, fostered him.
“When I saw Valentino crying in his cage in the video, I was like, I need to foster this cat,” Menjivar told The DoDo in an updated report.
Five weeks later, Menjivar formally adopted Valentino.
“Valentino is doing AMAZING today,” said Frank Wisneski, VP of operations for Leave No Paws Behind.
Menjivar noticed that the 3-year-old cat was not afraid of anything after recovering.
He would approach dogs that belonged to Menjivar’s friends and perch on a windowsill.
“He’s spoiled rotten, and a little chubby,” Menjivar said.
“He wakes me up at 6 in the morning for food—we snuggle for about a half hour and then I feed him … He loves it,” Menjivar said.
“He’s such a little nugget,” she added.
A job well done! Valentino has been transformed completely from a cat that nobody dared touch to one that now everyone wants a go at patting. What a purrfect ending!
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