With no time to spare, rescuers with Save A Purrfect Cat Rescue (SAPCR) took in Samuel, and one of Raines’ clients at the clinic offered to be the sick cat’s “freedom ride.”
“She honestly thought he was going to die when he was in the car,” Raines said, “he was in such bad shape.”
When Samuel arrived at the veterinary office, medical treatment started immediately. The vets could see that he was dangerously thin and covered in mange, and had pressure wounds from being confined in a small space for a long time.
As Samuel put on weight and his vision returned, his apprehension at being given free reign in a comfortable home environment began to change. He went from hiding behind the couch for days, to perching on his wire-top cat carrier, his “comfort zone,” according to Raines.
“As he started coming out of his shell more and more, it was as if he had to learn how to be a cat,” Raines said. “He didn’t know how to play. If you put him on a piece of furniture he would get down, and walking on the floor was like hot coals.”
As months passed, and Samuel’s thick black and white fur grew in, he still had fears to overcome. “His shadow surprised him every time he saw it, and his reflection in glass windows freaked him out — he was very, very suspicious of it,” Raines said.
When it finally came time to meet potential adopters almost a year later, Samuel reverted back to the frightened kitten he had once been around new people. His loving foster mom vetted each new home, but there was always something missing.
Until a man named Bryan Smith came across Samuel’s photo on PetFinder. Samuel reminded Smith of the Maine Coon he had lost to cancer the previous year, and when the two finally met, everything changed.
“The day I met Bryan, we brought [Samuel] up to the clinic, and Bryan just sat down on the floor next to the kennel and started talking to him. The look on Samuel’s face was completely different than it had ever been — he just relaxed,” Raines said. “Bryan just had such a calm demeanor and was OK with moving slowly.”