In February 2017, Elaine Seamans, who runs the Atchoo Foundation, found a cat named Valentino in the Baldwin Park animal shelter in Los Angeles County. No one would touch him. They even thought he was a girl. Valentino suffered from sarcoptic mange, a skin infection caused by mites that usually affects dogs. It can spread to humans and cause a mild rash. He was also covered in dirt, and his eyes were caked shut.
In spite of his blindness, Valentino reached out to Seamans as she passed by. meowing to her. Feeling the kitty needed the touch of a human, Seamans chose to pick him up and hug him without using gloves. Then she called a friend, Toby Wisneski, at the organization Leave No Paws Behind, Inc.
Valentino was so sick and weak that Seamans feared he would die in her arms. He was taken to the vet, who found a bacterial infection and bleeding ulcer on top of the mange. These had apparently caused his crash in health.
But Valentino was a fighter. He responded well to treatment. About a week later, his rescuers discovered his eyes were green after he was able to open them.
Despite his maladies, the cat's underlying health was good. He was soon on the road to recovery.
Once he had fully cleaned up and recovered in May, Valentino turned out to be a beautiful senior tiger cat. A month later, he ended up a foster fail when his foster home became his forever home.
Valentino is almost unrecognizable from the raggedy outcast he was before Seamans rescued him in February. Now he's helping raise funds to save other senior animals like him.