Furkids is one of Georgia’s largest animal rescue shelters so it seems surprising that one sweet-tempered cat would have the ability to steal the hearts of so many of its volunteers. But, when a scruffy, grey-colored cat was surrendered to the no-kill shelter in 2007 that is exactly what happened.
He was a rather ordinary looking five-year-old cat except for the fact that he only had one eye. The shelter staff affectionately named him “Popeye” and he was instantly one of the feline favorites of everyone who worked there. He was affectionate and friendly, fun and easy-going. The perfect cat.
It didn’t take long before a woman requested to adopt him. She informed the shelter staff that she would soon be relocating to San Francisco, with Popeye in tow. Popeye and the woman settled in San Francisco and began their life together. But, it was short-lived. For unknown reasons, the woman left Popeye in the care of a cousin when she moved to Ohio to take a new job.
It’s not clear if Popeye, who was an indoor/outdoor cat, was abandoned or if he escaped from the home of the cousin he was placed with. But, when a young woman named Kelly found the distinctive cat wandering the streets of California, it was clear that he was in poor health.
Kelly said the cat showed obvious signs of pain and, therefore, took him to be evaluated at a local vet clinic. He was found to have an eye infection which, considering his limited eyesight to begin with, made the situation very dire for a cat on its own in the city. Popeye’s teeth were also rotting and the once full, furry coat was thinning on his malnourished frame. Upon examining Popeye, the vet discovered he was micro-chipped, which is how they were able to trace him back to Furkids in Georgia.
Since Popeye’s original home was over 2,400 miles away, they needed to get creative to bring Popeye home. A Furkids staff member, whose husband worked for an airline, was able to use a Buddy Pass to fly to California and back the same week that Kelly had found Popeye. So, within a week, Popeye went from roaming the streets of California, hungry and in pain, to once again being surrounded by the loving arms of people who cared for him.
Immediately upon Popeye’s arrival at Furkids, he was given the medical treatment he needed. He had twelve teeth removed (with only one remaining). He was put on medication to treat an upper-respiratory infection and his eye infection and he began on the road to recovery.
“Popeye is a true survivor,” said Lauren Frost of Furkids.
Thank goodness for micro-chips. If it weren’t for that technology, Popeye might never had made it back to the one place that had always made him feel loved and cared for.