To the usual cat lover, the tragedies that cats go through and survive are unimaginable, but for rescue workers, these tragedies are a daily occurrence. Awareness is a powerful weapon for reducing the suffering of abandoned and stray cats, which is why tales like Valentino’s are so necessary.
Valentino was a cat like many others before him: he was alone, sick, and hiding from the oppressive heat of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The little, ginger cat took cover beneath a car and just so happened to be in the right location at the right moment… at least in these situations.
A lady saw the cat hiding under her son’s car and immediately contacted the appropriate authorities, Cats of San Bernadino. The organization’s mission is to “assist in feeding, spaying, and sterilizing the stray cats in San Bernardino.”
CSB volunteers raced to the parking lot to check on the cat, unsure whether he was feral or just a stray.
They were happy to see he wasn’t wild because he allowed them pick him up and touch him easily.
“He was simply like “Please, someone take me,” Jaina from Cats of San Bernardino said in an interview with The Dodo. He just let himself be picked up and didn’t move.”
Thankfully, the rescuers were able to persuade the cat into a cat carrier, and he was taken to the doctor right away. The cat was so emaciated that they initially mistook him for a female (he had previously been neutered), but they soon realized he was a “he.”
At that time, everyone connected in his care believed he had been abandoned and left behind when his old family moved out of the region.
After a life indoors, he was abandoned outside to fend for himself. He appeared thin and hungry, with matted fur where there weren’t any bald spots.
The bald spot on his forehead had grown so large that it had spread to one of his eyes, and the vets detected a swelled region that had left one of his eyes only partially open.
Jaina and Ivy, two rescue volunteers, took on the task of helping the cat’s recovery. Valentino was his name.
“The abscess on his forehead was checked. We started him on antibiotics right away.”
However, the cat began to change in just a few weeks:
“All he wanted to do was give everyone an update and let them know he’s fine.” The medicines are working nicely for him. The inflammation is almost totally gone. He’s gaining weight and improving his muscles. He’s regrown some fresh hair.”
As the cat recovered, Jaina said he instantly connected with his committed rescuers: “His personality transformed to this, “I love you, people!” she added. Every time we take him up, he starts rubbing his face on ours and says, “Thank you.” He also likes to offer kisses, so he will kiss the bridge of my nose. He’s a romantic.”
Valentino would hug up every time he had after that.
CSB posted updates on Facebook as Valentino recovered, even though they still thought he was a girl at the time!
“Valentina is doing well so far. She is eating, hydrating, and resting at the same time. She’s a nice, loving kitten who must have had a home at one time. One thing is certain: Valentina is incredibly thin, and she must have been hungry for a long period before her latest injuries. To help her frail body acquire weight and energy, we’ve started her on a high-calorie diet.”
“Knowing she was out there in this condition for so long breaks our hearts. We are ecstatic to have her here with us and can’t wait for her to begin to mend and feel better.”
“We often wish that cats could communicate with us. I’m sure she’d have a bizarre story to share.”
Valentino’s future appears to be bright.
“Obviously, we’re busy, so we’ve got a lot of other cats to look after. As a result, Valentino will be on the lookout for a place to call home. It’ll have to be, certainly, the ideal residence for him. Someone who is usually at home and spends a lot of time with him will be able to hold him for long periods of time. He’ll be happy to be with someone who will give him his undivided attention.”
Take a look at how far he’s come!
Here’s a link to his moving video story: