"The Shell-Shocked Persian"
The Second Save of Christmas
A woman was trying to trap the feral cat she had been feeding for five years; she was about to move and wanted to relocate him with her. But when she checked the trap, she was surprised: she had caught a white Persian. “He is a Persian. He doesn’t belong outside,” she thought, and she contacted Purebreds Plus.
Our nearest foster mom went to see the captured cat, not expecting him to be an actual Persian. He was, however. She took him home, and subsequently to her vet to be neutered. Like many Persians who find themselves outdoors, this one was so covered in mats and had so many foxtails stuck in his hair and skin that he needed to be combed out and have the foxtails extracted under general anesthesia. This the nice vet did.
The Persian was transferred to me the following day. He arrived good-natured, hungry, and a mess. Our fingertips found more foxtails completely embedded under his skin. Foxtails are very dangerous; they twist and migrate and can burrow into places like the heart. We took him to our vet, who put him under anesthesia again and surgically removed more foxtails. After the wounds had healed, we surprised our new arrival with a bath, after which he was a good deal whiter than before.
He was a young Persian, about two years old, with the bunchy, big muscles that we don’t usually associate with Persians and which are typical of cats who have never been neutered. He was solid like a rock, so we named him for the strong muscular hero, Samson. We soon learned he was FIV+, undoubtedly from fighting for females outside.
Samson was a bit shell-shocked as he tried to adapt from being an outside cat, fending for himself, to suddenly being an inside cat fed regular meals. But through it all he was quite polite to us and oddly confident. He wasn’t feral. He loved food, and he loved attention. He would not sleep on a soft surface! What could have been his story???
In the photo we included of him walking, you can see his pink skin through his thin fur. Between the foxtails and the mats, he had lost most of his hair, but it grew in quickly over a few months. Pretty soon he had a lovely coat of soft clean fur and was as classic looking a doll-faced Persian as he could be. We posted him on our website and struggled a bit to find a family who would be able to keep him inside. I told potential adopter, “He is confident and social. He is also willful and very determined.”
Finally, a wonderful family came to meet him and fell madly in love. His new mom held him, and he said “I am not moving. Don’t let me go.” They took him home, and it comes as no surprise to me that he is happily running their whole household now. He is a great deal of fun and a very loving boy. It is frustrating not to know his past history, but what a delight to know he has a happy future.
We find Persians in the strangest places and in many cases in deplorable shape. Some people buy them as kittens because they are so cute, but Persians need a lot of attention, especially grooming, and not everyone is willing to put in that effort. We will never know this boy’s history, but we are grateful to the Good Samaritan who accidentally found him and contacted us to help this boy. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. What were the odds that Samson would find his way into the trap? We only know that he did and that now he has found his way to a new beginning.