The winter had settled in as November 2018 ended in Tampa, Florida. Overnight temperatures reached a high in the low 50’s, something Floridians are not fond of. It is during these nights that we like to stay bundled up indoors, watching the winter weather on TV. The holiday festivities and bright lights are beautiful, but you can keep your white wonderland! However, for Chris Poole, or Cat Man Chris as he’s known, he won’t rest easy knowing there are others suffering in the cold. So when he gets texts about sickly and very smelly cats from a local rescue group, he rushes to help.
Arriving at a nearby apartment complex, he discovered the very, VERY smelly cat, alone and shivering in the cold.
It was St. Francis Society Animal Rescue that received the initial distress call. A woman living in the complex had seen the cat and called them right away. She had lovingly tried to help, but knew the cat needed more help than she could provide.
By the time Chris had arrived, more obstacles had presented themselves. It was a busy Friday night in the complex apparently, and there were families with children running all around. With his eerily adept eyesight for spotting stray and feral cats, Chris was able to see the cat almost straight away.
Although it may have been the smell emanating from the tiny, pathetic creature.
The poor baby was hiding underneath a car but could easily be smelled from at least 15-feet away. It was covered in filth and what looked like a wide range of health issues. Fortunately, Chris was able to lure the feline out easily with food and scooped him into a carrier.
But then he got another whiff of dirty cat stank coming from the other direction…
It was then that he realized there were two smelly cats!
The children had gathered near it and were pestering the poor animal. Again, he was able to lure the other cat to him with food and easily grabbed it. He wasn’t about to leave ANY cats in these conditions.
It was very late but Chris was able to get to the veterinarian before they closed for the night. They made sure that the cats had no serious injuries that needed to be addressed immediately. Both cats were given antibiotics and eye medication to help with their crusted eyes. They were experiencing diarrhea, likely making them the smelly cats, but both had great appetites.
There was one male and one female. They named the female, Merry, and the male, Bright. Just like everyone would make sure their futures would be.
Bright, guessed to be around 2 months old, was actually very friendly underneath his pain.
Merry seemed to be more feral then her cohort, but hopefully that would change as she healed.
The duo stayed at the Cat Man Chris / Cole and Marmalade household that night while Chris searched for a fosterer. I can attest that Merry and Bright were still extremely smelly cats, as I couldn’t even go out my back porch during their sleepover! #worthit
Luckily by the next morning, foster mom Kristen Gilpin from St Francis agreed to take them.
She scheduled another vet visit for a more thorough examination but there was one thing they needed to do first–bath time. It was overwhelming to try to even breathe near the poor cats. Surprisingly, Kristen was able to bathe Bright with little resistance. You can see in the rescue video (end of article) the white cat emerging from a once dirty crusted boy.
Merry was a bit more difficult to bathe and Chris had to put the camera down to help. But everything worked out in the end and two mostly refreshed felines were snuggled dry. Phew; no more smelly cats!
Scabies, ring worm, upper respiratory infection, Coccidia, tape worms, ear mites, skin abscesses, severe dehydration, severe malnutrition, uveitis (eye infection), fever, intestinal parasites, lethargy, vitamin deficiency, and rectal bleeding … they had also ingested some trash/plastic. Basically, they were a hot mess and wouldn’t have lasted much longer!
The once smelly cats were now clean and fresh, but now the challenge to socialize them had begun.
And just as easily he gave into a nice warm bath, Bright gave into the indoor life of comfort. There doesn’t seem to be a stray or feral bone in this sweet little man’s spotted body! As you can see in the video he’s good with other cats and super friendly and loves to be petted!
Bright needs a home and this friendly guy is ready for adoption meow, apply here: http://bit.ly/AdoptBright.
Merry is still unsure about humans, although she accepts their food happily. Kristin and St. Francis have decided that she will ONLY be adopted out with conditions. Whomever was interested would have to be willing to spend a lot of time with her. They need to understand that she is still pretty feral and may never change.
Be sure to follow Cat Man Chris on Facebook and YouTube for all his ameowzing rescue stories. I’m sure there will be another smelly cat or two along the way! And for updates on all their life saving work, please follow St. Francis on Facebook too!