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Rescuers at Chalky’s Cat Crusade in Tampa, Florida, celebrated when, after 502 days, formerly feral Picasso found a home at last. The black and white cat was formerly knowns as Pig Pen and didn’t know what being a house cat was all about. And, as a cat with special needs, it can, unfortunately, take time to find the right home. But the stars finally aligned!

“We are absolutely overjoyed to announce that after 502 days in foster care, Picasso officially went to his forever home yesterday!” Chalky’s shared. “Finding a match for an adult ‘special needs’ cat is very difficult, so we had to wait for the universe to make that happen.”

Picasso, formerly PIg Pen

Images via Facebook/Chalky’s Cat Crusade

After being caught as part of TNR or TNVR (trap, neuter, vaccinate, return) efforts, Pig Pen returned to life outdoors. He didn’t seem remotely interested in being a house cat, preferring to watch from a safe distance.

Picasso the cat with one ear, Chalky's Cat Crusade, Tampa, Florida

Lori, the colony caretaker, watched over the cats and ensured they had enough to eat. But after two years, she could never get very close to Pig Pen. Then one day, she noticed something wrong with one of his ears. That’s when the rescuers caught him again and learned he had cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) on his ear. It’s common in light-skinned outdoor cats. He also had tested FIV positive, needed 10 teeth extracted, and an oral tumor removed, all at considerable expense.

Cat has surgery to remove cancer on his ear, Tampa

So he lost the ear and got a new name after the famous artist, but with a bit of a twist…since it’s not Van Gogh. Still, he is quite a “meowsterpiece”.

Foster Mom Socializes Picasso

After Picasso’s surgery, he stayed in foster care, and his new mom Colleen began trying to socialize the fearsome kitty. It wasn’t going to be easy! But then came a big surprise when he went from “a terrified street cat to a boy begging for pets and tummy scratches,” they said. 

“All of the credit goes to her because it was definitely not an easy task, and she has the scars from claws and teeth to show it! We don’t give up on hard-to-adopt cats here, nor on ferals with medical needs,” the rescuers continued. “In the end, Picasso turned in his feral card and became the biggest sweetheart you could ever imagine.”

Look at how happy and healthy Picasso looked after all the care he received!

Picasso the cat in Chalky's Cat Crusade, Tampa

Nevertheless, this Picasso waited and waited for someone to notice what a wonderful find he is.

“He is not a cute kitten and the world just passes him by,” the rescuers said.

But then Laura found him and she saw him as the masterpiece he is!

Laura smiling with Picasso in a carrier

Laura smiling with Picasso in a carrier

“Happy life to you, old boy. You are loved by so many! Thank you, Laura for loving our boy as much as we do!!” they said.

Laura with her new furbaby Picasso

Laura with her new furbaby Picasso

Tampa Woman Takes Home a Picasso

Picasso’s new mama commented on how happy he was in his new home.

“As Picasso’s new forever mom, I want to say thank you to everyone who worked so hard to get him to this point,” Laura commented. “We love watching him come out of his shell and explore his new home. Thank you!”

His former colony caretaker, Lori, was also overjoyed:

“This is the best news. I am overjoyed for Picasso. The couple years I took care of him as a colony cat, I could never get close to him but boy I tried. He will have a wonderful happy life and it makes my heart so happy. I love you always Picasso,” she said.

You can follow Chalky’s Cat Crusade on Facebook Instagram, and their website. Those in the Tampa area can find loving companions looking for homes, donate, inquire about fostering, and even help transport kitties. Jessica Josephs, mom to Cole & Marmalade, also purroudly serves as a director for the dedicated non-profit. 

Cat in hammock inside kennel, Chalky's Cat Crusade, Tampa, Florida

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