That's what happened with this cat, Henri.
He is at least 10 years old, but the staff isn't too sure of his exact age, as he didn't come into the shelter with his life-long owners. Instead, he came in with neighbors who took him in when Henri's owners moved away and left him behind. Those neighbors had a kitty Henri didn't really get along with, so that family he found, all on his own, couldn't keep him.
That's sad enough, getting left behind when you're an old guy and then getting bumped out of a home you choose for a do-over, but Henri's story gets a little worse.
Every cat that comes into the shelter gets a thorough medical once-over. In Henri's medical exam, the team discovered two pretty disturbing things:
- Henri can't use his tail at all. He can't lift it, twitch it or feel anything about it.
- Henri has a BB or tiny bullet lodged in his back, near his hip.
So this means, in a best-case scenario, he was abused just once. In a worst-case scenario, he was abused a few times. And he was abandoned.
Typically, cats like this are a little shut down in the shelter. They cower and shrink and tremble. They know that humans can be mean, and they try to avoid them.
Henri is different.
This guy is the first to mewl for attention when people walk into his room. He grabs hands, hair and faces of people walking by. He will not take "no" for an answer. And when people do pet him, he is enthusiastic about it. He gave me the nicest shoulder massage yesterday when I was walking down the hall with him. And he nuzzled my cheeks goodbye, too.
His body may be damaged, but his spirit certainly is not.
As an older, all-black cat, Henri faces some pretty significant adoption hurdles. That's compounded by the fact that he may not like other cats (he didn't like the one in that temp home, for example). Henri is also just really, really restless in the shelter. He wants out, out, OUT of any place where he's staying. You'll see that in the video I shot. Notice how he's trying to open the door.
That might mean he'll need a home with a catio, or he might need a person willing to leash-train him. Not everyone is willing to do that.
Henri needs the help of a community, so I'm reaching out here.
If you know of anyone who might be willing to hop up to Oregon to visit this guy, share this post. And if you're moved and want to help, click this page to make a donation for his care. You don't have to, of course, but every little bit helps cats like this to succeed.
I'll keep working with Henri and promoting him on the WHS sites. But I'd love the extra promo help. I think Henri deserves it, after all he's been through. Don't you?
Happiest of updates: Henri went to his forever home a little earlier today! Hooray! 1/21/2016 @ 9pm.