He was the king of the streets, a six-year-old feline beefcake who was known on sight by the people who lived in the neighborhood that he prowled. But this past January, the large stray became sick and didn't look like he would make it. A call went out to the Chatons Orphelins Montreal rescue, and soon the cat, named Barney, was on his way to get medical treatment.
Both the harsh winter and the illness he had contracted took a significant toll on Barney. "People from the neighborhood fed him but no one really cared for him. He was a big alley cat that everyone was used to seeing, and winter was hard," said Celine Crom of Chatons Orphelins Montreal.
"He smelled bad and had runny eyes. He had trouble breathing through his nose as it was completely clogged. He had parasites and ear mites, typical for a cat living as a stray," Crom noted. Additionally, one of Barney's ears had frozen and suffered damage from the cold. It is now permanently folded over.
Further medical examinations revealed that Barney was a fighter, sporting many scars from the street battles in which he had engaged. He is also missing some teeth.
Despite the tough life that Barney has lived on the streets, he has turned his frown upside down now that he has proper love and care from everyone at the rescue. He is on antibiotics to address the eye infections and cold that he suffers from and he is positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). But none of it stops Barney from expressing his gratitude to his saviors. "This big teddy bear is very sweet and comes to us for some affection," Crom said.
Barney loves to give head butts now and meows as soon as staff comes into his room. "When we visit him, he pushes his head on our hand to get cuddles," the rescue said. "He had a lot of damage when he first came in, and we gave him time to heal." Now Barney's smile is evident every time he's around his rescuers.
Thankfully, Barney's eye infections are clearing up, but this big boy is not out of the woods quite yet. He still suffers from a cold and lingering breathing issues. Being FIV positive, it takes longer for Barney to heal from illnesses than a non-FIV positive cat.
We hope that Barney will be on the road to a full recovery soon! Share his inspirational story with your cat-loving family members and friends on Facebook.