PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania - An obese cat with hair so matted that if looked like tentacles was rescued from the home of an elderly man with Alzheimer's disease in the US state of Pennsylvania.
The suffering feline, named Hidey, was taken to an animal shelter when her 82-year-old owner was relocated to a nursing home.
Staff of the Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Centre shaved 14 years' worth of hair growth from Hidey, with the matted mess weighing in at nearly a kilo.
Hidey is now being cared for by a distant relative of the elderly man named Paul Russell, according to People Magazine.
Russell and his wife Jill were the ones who found the cat after its owner was taken away and they took the pet to the animal centre.
“This poor cat was brought to our clinic after her elderly (owner) had to move to a nursing home,” the centre posted on Facebook.
“She suffered from severe matting (dreadlocks, really), the likes of which had been neglected for years.
“Our medical team shaved off the pounds of intertwined fur from her body and, needless to say, this cat is feeling so much better now!
“She will be cared for by a distant relative of her previous owner and finally have a chance at a happy and healthy life. Please remember to not only check on the elderly in your community, but also check on their animals to prevent instances like this from happening in the future.”
Russell told The Dodo that he went inside the 82-year-old’s property to retrieve his pets.
“Someone mentioned that he had a second cat. So I started searching, and suddenly this huge creature darts out from under the bed and runs down to the cellar, and I thought, ‘What was that?’
“I’m down there with a flashlight looking – it was almost like a horror movie. And I found her hunkering in the corner. Probably very scared. Probably in a lot of pain.”
When he first saw the animal, Russell said he thought the cat was running around with a blanket on top of it until he got a better look at it.
“The next day, I went into the creepy old cellar and it was hunkered in a corner. I thought, ‘My god this is a cat,’” Russell told People.
When the couple brought the cat home for the first time after its fur was cut, it hid under the bed. Russell said its now starting to open up more and even purrs when its held instead of being nervous.
After the rescue, the Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Centre reminded people that it’s important to check on both the elderly and their animals so something like this doesn’t happen.