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Beth Stern, National Spokesperson for North Shore Animal League America and bestselling author, shared the story of Raggedy Andy on Instagram.

As you can see, rescuers found Raggedy Andy with badly matted fur after living homeless in the Huntington, NY, area. Finally, he would get the care he desperately needed, a bath, a shave, and a full veterinary checkup. Soon, he would look like a completely different cat.

Additionally, to help control the kitten population, Raggedy Andy would be neutered through ongoing TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) efforts. Meanwhile, Stern hoped he would prove friendly and not aggressively feral despite his ragged appearance. If possible, Andy could live the life of a pampered house cat, where a loving family could brush him daily.

“Fresh Catch of the day… we are hoping he’s friendly, but we will make sure he’s comfortable and shaved and healthy (and neutered) before he’s deemed feral and has to be released,” Stern shared. “My heart wants him to be friendly so badly so we can find him a family after he’s fresh and clean. Off he goes to Dix Hills Animal Hospital. ♥️ #staytuned.”

Raggedy Andy

Images via Instagram/bethostern

Raggedy Andy Gets a Shave

The next day, Stern learned more about Raggedy Andy. At the time, the team was giving the cat a makeover, shaving all that dirty, matted fur away. Heartbreakingly, she learned that the cat had lived outdoors for six years. Nevertheless, he didn’t appear to be feral.

“More ‘before pics’ of Raggedy Andy. Getting shaved now!!!!! We don’t think he’s feral….. He’s been living outdoors for 6 years. Makes me cry. Stay tuned♥️.”

cat with matted fur

Raggedy Andy the cat

Look at What Came Off!

In the next update, Stern shared the great clump of fur removed from the Raggedy Andy. Amazingly, it all came off in one big piece. Certainly, there’s enough there to make another cat or two! “This is fur that was shaved, then lifted off Raggedy Andy. So horribly matted that it all stuck together in just ONE piece…Are you ready to see Andy now?”

fur removed from Andy

Now, everyone was super-excited to see what he looked like following his shave.

No-Longer Raggedy Andy Reveal

After much suspense, Stern shared the first image of a no-long raggedy Andy. Resting in some comfy soft towels, he looks like a miniature version of himself.

“3 guesses who this is…. (He’s tiny!) goodnightandgodbless 🌹”

Andy after the shave

Then, Stern shared another update to let everyone know a fresh new Andy is doing fine. 

“Raggedy Andy is doing well!”

Another look at Andy the cat after a shave

Later, Stern added that the veterinarians are “trying to fatten him up a bit before his upcoming dental where he will most likely have all his remaining teeth removed.”

Raggedy Andy was most likely living with considerable pain and unspeakable neglect. Thanks to Stern and the rescuers, he will have life-saving care and a fresh start in life.

“♥️ Before and after pics to remind you who Andy is.😊 I’m smitten.🌹” Stern wrote.

Raggedy Andy

Before picture

No-longer Raggedy Andy

After picture

“I can’t wait to see this gorgeous fellow plumped up and getting all the love he deserves,” responded one person in the comments.

You can follow along on Beth Stern’s Instagram to see what happens next. Each year, Stern fosters and coordinates the adoptions of hundreds of cats, kittens, and dogs. Always, she highlights often overlooked senior cats and dogs and those with special needs.

In the comments about Raggedy Andy, many people remembered the life of a beloved feral cat Muffin Stern, who Beth fed and cared for over 11 years.  

“He looks like a messier version of the late, great, Muffin Stern❤️” wrote on person.

“Muffin sent him 🥹🥺” wrote another person.

“We had such a bond. I tried for years to get her to join us inside to live, but she refused,” Stern wrote in a blog post about Muffin.

“It’s amazing how a bond can form between a human and an animal that doesn’t even want to be touched,” she said.

Muffin Stern, image via North Shore Animal League America

Although Muffin preferred life outdoors, the compassionate Stern ensured she would always have everything she needed throughout her life. Today, her life is still fondly remembered by many people thanks to Stern’s ongoing and amazing efforts to help homeless cats. 

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