Paul Russell only had wanted to help out a relative but had the shock of a lifetime instead. This man from Pennsylvania had a sick relative. He was a good person, so he wanted to help in any way he can…
Making A Decision
His distant relative was now 82 years old. His family decided to move the man out of his Pennsylvania home and into a more suitable place. He used to live alone but could no longer look after himself thanks to his disease.
The old man was brought to a nursing home close to the rest of the family. This might have been the best option they had, but his relatives did not know him very well. It was the reason that Paul went on a shocking adventure without any heads up!
Entering The House
The nursing home did not allow pets. Sadly, this meant that the man had no choice but to leave his 17-year-old Siamese cat behind. When Paul found out about this, he saw that he could do something about it. He and his wife were both animal lovers with several pets in their home.
However, Paul would soon find out that Siam was not the only thing waiting for him at the house. He entered the old man’s home through the front door. After flicking the light switch on and off several times, the room stayed dark. This meant that he had to descend into the cellar and look for the breaker!
A Creeping Feeling
Before he could do that, he needed a source of light. He grabbed his emergency flashlight from the car. In fact, he nearly dropped the spotlight before he left it in the hallway. However, a terrible odor hit them then. He stumbled back before he saw that the entire house was full of garbage!
The windows in the house were dark, and there were weird spots on the walls. It was hard for Paul to shake off the feeling that there was someone watching him as he inspected the room. Among other things, he was worried that there might be snakes and mice there!
Hiding In The Dark
Paul got goosebumps when he lit the beam of his spotlight on the marks on the walls. He felt creeped out after seeing gouged spots on the walls. How did they get here? On top of that, where was the cat?
Paul felt nervous as he walked through the hallway. In an attempt to lure Siam out, he called, “Kitty, kitty.” All of a sudden, he felt strange. His gut had been telling him to get out of there. However, he did not want to leave without Siam in his arms.
Paul went to the kitchen to fetch the cat’s food bowl. It was a good idea to bring cat food! He poured it into the foot bowl, but Siam was still nowhere in sight. He continued to shout out for the cat to no avail.
It was going to be hard to look for the cat because the dark made it difficult to see. He knew that it would be much easier if the lights were on. However, it meant that he had to go to the basement and turn on the switch. Before he descended the dark stairway, he heard a very shocking sound!
A Huge Creature
There was a loud cry that filled the room. Paul froze. What could that be? He heard a thump after that, but he could tell that the noise came from a different room: the bathroom at the end of the hall. He felt cautious as he went up to the door.
Going Back In
He then kicked the door open with his foot. Inside, he knew that he was going to find something behind the shower curtain. It was none other Siam! The cat had been camped out in there, both terrified and starving. It had probably been a long time since his last proper meal.
Paul was concerned about the cat, but he was distracted when he heard another sound coming from the darkness! His blood went cold after that. There was a faint rumble that could be heard all the way from the bathroom. Siam was already there, so what on earth could be making that sound?
At The Vet
He told himself that there was a good chance that it was only a raccoon that found its way into the house. After all, this would also explain why Siam had been in the bath. He then saw something that he will never ever forget!
There were people who would have picked Siam up and forgotten about it. However, Paul decided that he would get to the bottom of this. He said, “I started searching around, and suddenly this huge creature darts out from under the bed and runs down to the cellar, and I thought, ‘What was that?’”
Scared, he went outside to take a breather. Before going down to the cellar, it was important for him to gather all the courage he had in him. He only returned when Jill, his spouse, could join him. This time, he was ready to face whatever that thing was.
The couple descended the stairs with flashlights in their hands. Paul recalled what it was like: “The next day, I went into the creepy old cellar… I’m down there with a flashlight looking— it was almost like a horror movie. Then I found it hunkering in the corner…”
The creature had been lying in the corner. Jill was bewildered when she took it in with her own two eyes. Paul told her that he saw a dusty creature with many legs. She found it hard to believe, but it looks like he had been right all along!
What on earth could this creature be? It looked rather alien-like, and they could not make sense of it. They brought it to a veterinarian to figure it out. Jill and Paul were scared as they did so. He assumed that this was a wild animal that he did not know of or maybe a common animal with a blanket on top.
Monster Under The Bed
However, the vets told them that they had not seen this before. The mystery started to unravel when the creature looked around. What happened next left everyone at a loss for words. The animal popped out its head from the weird “tentacles” all over its torso.
The vets decided to start cutting off its “tentacles.” Of course, they first had to put it under general anesthesia. “Our Medical team shaved off the pounds of intertwined fur from her body, and, needless to say, she’s feeling so much better now!” the team said on their Facebook post. But what was it?
That was when it hit them. However, it was still hard to figure out what on earth turned the animal into something like this. According to the vets, the best option was to administer anesthesia and get rid of the fur in a safe manner. They only arrived at this decision after several arguments, however.
Looking Out For Each Other
They decided to call the animal Hidey. It was a great name for something that likes to hide so much! She had been lying under several pounds of matted fur. Sadly, the 82-year-old man had forgotten about her.
“Hidey was overweight, so that makes it harder for [cats] to groom themselves, and that’s when you see matting happen,” explained Caitlin Lasky, the Senior Marketing Communications Manager of the Western PA Humane Society. Yes, this means that Hidey was actually a cat!
A Happy Ending
How were they able to extract of the so-called ‘dreadlocks’ anyway? The veterinary team could not believe that Hidey existed. Senior Marketing Communications Manager Caitlin Lasky explained, “They hadn’t seen anything like that.” To be fair, who has?!
A Unique Case
“Even looking online, I had a hard time finding anything similar, so it’s a unique case,” she added. There was not much to do but to shave all of the excess fur. However, it was important to be very careful here.
Can you believe that he had been carrying two pounds of fur on him? “Lots of furs. It had to be years of matting for it to get that long.” Hidey was not only very hairy, but she was also a very fat cat. There was another big problem, however. Where was this cat going to go now?
We are glad that Paul and Jill had hearts of gold. They agreed to look after both Siam and Hidey after they found them in the abandoned house. These two cats have since gone to their forever home. Aside from their new parents, they also gained two siblings in the form of two cats and two dogs.
It is going to take some time before Hidey comes out of her figurative hell. Now that she is no longer weighed down by overgrown fur, she is transitioning to life once more. We hope that she realizes that the future is bright for her. Will she ever be able to trust people once more?
It won’t be easy to do this after all the neglect that she faced. “She’s been hiding under the bed for the last few days,” Paul said. “I’ve been dragging her out and holding her, and she’s starting to purr a lot.”
Little By Little
“For the last couple of days, she’s climbed from under the bed on her own, and I’ve got a cat’s bed. So she’s starting to work her way to see more people,” said Paul. “The companionship of a pet will offer many positive benefits to the elderly, but it is a great responsibility to own a pet,” explained Dan Rossi. He is the CEO of the Western PA Humane Society, as well as the Animal Rescue League Shelter.
He issued a warning and advice to people. What should you do if you are ever in a similar situation? “If a family member, friend, or neighbor owns a pet, please help them ensure that there is a support system in place if / when mental faculties begin to decline,” Rossi said.
Open Door Shelters
“Also, open door shelters such as the Animal Rescue League Shelter and the Western PA Humane Society do not turn any animal away unless there are other choices for the pet,” Rossi added. Hidey will need some time before she can come out of her shell. However, she will surely adjust to her new life without the extra pounds of matted fur!
Run The House
“Other than being standoff, in which you are keeping her, and she’s going to purr,” Paul said. Jill knew that it was not going to be all that hard. She even said, “She’s going to run the house in six months.”
A Little Trimmer
“And now she’s going to be a little trimmer,” Jill added. We are so glad that Hidey is now receiving the care that she deserves after going through so much neglect. We just hope that this story is going to spread awareness about unintentional animal abuse by the elderly.
There are other cats out there who had the same fate that Hidey did. In fact, there is a cat called Sinbad with a similar story. He was found in Chicago after his elderly owner could no longer take care of him.
Neglected For A While
It would look like that cat had been neglected for a fair amount of time. His fur was seriously matted. It was a good thing that the rescuers did not meet any opposition. The owner knew that Sinbad would have a better life if someone else took him in. What did the volunteers do after that?
The workers wondered if the cat was going to remain calm as they shaved off all the matted fur on his body. They were glad to see that Sinbad did not fuss about. He was actually a very cooperative cat!
It looked like Sinbad immediately caught on to what was happening and just gave himself over to them. Maybe he really wanted to get groomed! They eventually found a sweet little cat underneath all the fur.
The rescuers managed to shave off all the excess fur in a total of two sittings. One sitting took about two hours, so they had to sedate Sinbad before they could work on him. After they were done shaving him, the rescuers found out that he had been carrying an extra five pounds all this time!
After they finished getting rid of the matted fur, Sinbad looked like a whole new cat. Well, he did lose five pounds of unnecessary weight! It makes sense that he was not used to the temperature. The rescuers gave him a t-shirt so that he would feel more comfortable.
Such A Relief
We bet it was a huge relief to get rid of all that excess weight. However, this also meant that Sinbad needed to relearn walking on his hind legs. He had not used them in so long that they atrophied.
Getting A Lot Of Attention
His new owner said, “Now he’s getting lots of TLC and attention…” He added, “I’m just astounded at how he just loves people…” Lastly, he explained, “Even though people haven’t always treated him very well… It’s a lesson we could all learn.”
“He didn’t get a lot of attention because of all the matting on his body and carrying five pounds worth of mats so he was not just in a neglective environment but a neglective condition as well,” explained Elliott Serrano. He works at the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society as an education manager.
There was also the challenge of bringing Sinbad up to a healthy weight. When they found him, he was very malnourished. Dr. Robyn Barbiers of the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society shared, “We had a volunteer step up who is very good at getting cats to eat, started making a grool, putting it in his mouth and after six days of that he started eating on his own.”
They decided to put Sinbad up for adoption as soon as he was in good shape. However, things turned out very different while he was with a foster parent. The two of them formed a special bond! “That first weekend when I took him home when he just wanted to lay on my chest and purr and chirp and be with me,” the foster parent recalled, “That convinced me that he wanted to stay”
“We would never have known if somebody hadn’t cared enough to see an animal in need, take a photo, get it to us so that our investigators could go out and rescue this cat,” the foster parent went on.
Then Vs. Now
What a relief it is to hear that Sinbad is now having a good time with his new owner. He is also over eight pounds now, which is a good weight. According to his owner, he is one feisty cat with a lovely attitude. Take a look at this photo from his Instagram! It was taken with Sinbad on his shoulders.
We are so happy that Sinbad got a happy ending. However, the real hero here was the utility worker who first noticed him. Because he decided to do something about it, Sinbad is now happy and healthy!