A ginger-colored cat was located sporting a coil of duct tape tightly wound around its neck. Timid and fearful of human interaction, the cat evaded eye contact, but the rescue team was resolute in their determination to save him and provide a fresh start.
Found on the streets of a California neighborhood, the cat endured the burden of a substantial length of tape around its neck. Despite multiple attempts by Animal Control personnel, capturing the cat proved elusive.
On Valentine’s Day, Kimberly Saxelby and Chris Gattas made a compassionate decision to ride their horses to the location in an effort to rescue the ginger cat. Upon arrival, they strategically positioned a trap just two feet away from the feline, who was initially sheltering beneath a car. Despite waiting for an hour, it became evident that the cat refrained from entering the trap due to the tape around its head. Abandoning the net approach, they pursued the cat, eventually cornering it in an old barn. It was in this moment that Chris successfully caught the cat with a net as it attempted to flee. Kimberly recounted the experience, sharing their determined efforts to ensure the cat’s safety.
Once the cat had settled down, it became apparent to rescuers that the extent of the wound suggested the tape around its neck had been tightly wound for months. Kimberly Saxelby and Chris Gattas, initially mistaking the odor for a deceased animal near the barn, soon realized it was the smell of rotting meat and infection emanating from the cat’s neck.
Promptly, they rushed the cat to the Rancho Cucamonga animal shelter, initiating urgent medical treatment. The severity of the cat’s condition only became fully apparent after sedation, and when the rescuers cut away the tape from its neck, it evoked tears. The cat, emaciated and dehydrated, had endured prolonged suffering and pain, unable to eat properly with the tape constricting its head.
The resilient ginger cat underwent a surgical procedure to clean and immobilize the area around his entire neck and above his ears. “We named this handsome boy Valentine because that’s the day this cute little boy was saved.”
Following the surgery, Valentine made a remarkable recovery, returning to normal eating habits without the constriction of tape around his neck. He now drinks water and maintains proper hydration. The courageous kitten not only recuperated but surpassed everyone’s expectations with his progress.
Valentine exhibited understandable wariness and irritation after enduring an unimaginably long ordeal. To provide him with a sense of safety and security, rescuers provided him with a sheltered space, a wild box, where he sought refuge for most of the day.
As efforts were made to secure a foster home for him, Valentine’s demeanor started to transform. His adoptive mother successfully managed to pat him on the head, and over time, he began to relish human companionship. “She’s been through so much misery and pain, and she deserves a loving home. I believe there was a time when this cat wasn’t afraid of humans and likely enjoyed human touch.”
Determined to help Valentine rebuild trust and rediscover love, the rescuers embarked on a mission of support.
Just a few days after settling into his new foster home, a heartening development unfolded. “As you can see, Valentine is feeling comfortable in his new foster home. He seems to be adapting pretty quickly, and that makes us very happy,” shared Kimberly.
The remarkable journey of this cat resonated widely, becoming an inspiration to others through its narrative of resilience and second chances. The story underscored the significance of compassionate action and the transformative impact that a caring and supportive community can have on the life of an animal in need.
Ultimately, the unwavering dedication and selfless acts of the rescuers paved the way for the cat to thrive in a safe and loving environment. This heartwarming tale serves as a poignant reminder that every life, regardless of its size, holds value and deserves care and compassion.