Shannon Pendleton, Virginia, United States

Bedford Cares volunteers work tirelessly to make a difference for animals without a voice. We’ve seen many bad situations, but we choose to share a success story to provide motivation and hope for all of us to keep doing what we are doing!

On April 22, our volunteers trapped a cat who was in horrible shape. You could see the blood and raw spots behind both his ears. He was very skinny and in general didn’t look healthy.

While overnighting all the cats we caught that day, our volunteer remembers slipping food into his trap and how quickly he gobbled it up. She thinks because the other cats picked on him, that maybe he only got their scraps after they were done eating.

As soon as the clinic staff saw him the next morning, they immediately contacted us. They said his infected ears were completely closed up and that he had bloodied them up by scratching, trying to get all the stuff out. They didn’t think he could hear at all at that point due to the amount of stuff in his ears. They described his ears as being puffy, swollen, bloody and full of black gunk. They said he had only six teeth, none of which were in good shape.

Here is an email from the clinic: “I think if he could do two things they would be: thank YOU for trapping him and getting him to the clinic and stick his tongue out … to those that thought he was past help. We have landed on “Gramps” as his name. Such a sweetheart!”

The clinic quickly learned he was very friendly and loving. Everyone fell in love with him. They bathed him, combed him and loved all over him. They sedated him the next day to treat the wounds. They were far too bad to do that without sedation. Everyone fell in love with him so quickly and hard that the clinic director called to ask if the owner would surrender Gramps to them. Technically there was no owner, so surrendering him to the clinic was a very easy decision.

After sedation, they suspected he was older than 8. And, they discovered there were in fact only four teeth, not six, and they were all nubs and should be pulled.

Here is an update from the clinic on April 25: “Gramps is so lovey and is head-butting everything 🙂 We let him roam around yesterday after surgery and he just went up to everyone and rubbed up against them. He is getting lots of attention and food! His poor ears though….they are so bad it makes me hurt!” Gramps was not putting on any weight even though he ate like a little pig. He was tested for FELV/FIV and did, in fact, come back FELV positive.

For a while, Gramps was a clinic/foster kitty through one of the clinic employees. He would come to the clinic each day and then go home at night with the employee. He now lives full time with that employee. She actually found him playing with a ball the other day. He has fully recovered and lives happily with another cat and a greyhound service dog.

Imagine the life Gramps would have endured without our volunteers and clinic workers. Imagine the joy he now brings to the life of his new owner. Imagine the difference and how many cats are in similar situations. Imagine if all of us work a little harder and little longer, the huge impact we could make together.