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May 10, 2024

Fish Stick’s Story of Beating the Odds

Fish Stick’s Story of Beating the Odds

Abandoned, neglected and wounded after surviving a house fire, Fish Stick was found by a kind neighbor just in the nick of time. Little did anyone know, he was already up against more struggles than met the eye.

Believed to be the only surviving pet, this senior Siamese mix was down to 6 pounds and in dire need of medical attention. Realizing the level of care he needed, the neighbor reached out to our friends at Cooper’s Companions Animal Rescue for help. They brought him to Cat Care Society, knowing our specialty in helping cats that others would give up on.

Fish Stick had severe lesions on his face, neck, back and paw pads. He immediately received antibiotics, fluids and pain medication. He needed a cone to stop scratching at the sites.

Without veterinary treatment for so long, Fish Stick’s wounds were infected and bleeding.

“His teeth were horrific, his skin was falling off, and he was just a complete mess,” our lead veterinarian Dr. Cecily Palamara, recalled.

Further exams revealed he also had a heart murmur, severe periodontal disease, conjunctivitis, upper respiratory infection, anemia and about 8 more underlying conditions. Not to mention a positive ringworm test. Add to that, he was blind in one eye from a previous trauma. We called it his wizard eye.

Considering his multitude of issues, a successful long-term outcome was unclear. Our goal shifted to maintain his quality of life while treating what we could.

From the start, Fish Stick was a total lovebug. Regardless of any pain he felt, he maintained the sweetest disposition, purring constantly and rubbing affectionately on staff during every treatment. It seemed he was up for the fight.

a siamese cat sits on an orange and white striped blanket

After addressing his most urgent needs, we slowly started ticking concerns off the list. Within a couple weeks, we saw significant improvement. He was gaining weight, hydrated again, his conjunctivitis was resolved, and his skin was looking better. Test results showed that some of his skin issues were not burn related, but were actually allergies. A month in, his liver values were completely resolved, anemia was on the right track, but his lymphocytosis was worsened.

Just when he took one step forward, there were another two steps back.

One employee stepped up to foster Fish Stick for close monitoring and an aggressive medication regimen.

After numerous medical setbacks, Fish Stick turned the corner in his foster home.

In foster, Fish Stick began to thrive. Just weeks in, he was markedly improved on nearly all accounts and finally clear of ringworm. His fur grew back in and he was at an ideal weight.

“He kind of became a celebrity,” Dr. Palamara recalled. “The whole team would come down for his rechecks. Every time we saw him, he looked better and better. He just needed some time and TLC, and he got that here.”

About 100 days after he came through our doors, Fish Stick was ready to become a candidate for adoption — with no less than 14 medical disclaimers. To make sure his adopter knew the extent of his conditions, a consult with our vet was required.

A host of medical issues was no concern for his adopter ready to open his heart and home.

Michael came to the shelter looking for a Siamese cat after losing his own. He learned about Fish Stick’s history and ongoing concerns but was unfazed, willing to take on whatever came with this friendly boy.

After going home with Michael, Fish Stick settled right in. He even gained a new friend, as Michael adopted another CCS cat, Jack, from us the same day.

A siamese and a white cat lay next to each other

“Every day, both cats are getting more comfortable, and I’ve spent a lot of time playing with them,” Michael updated. “Jack is renamed Taz after the Tasmanian devil since he runs around like a tornado. Both cats are super smart and such a joy.”

Looking at him now, you’d never suspect Fish Stick made it through such a horrific event. The time and energy we put into this cat was significant, and his glow-up is a perfect example of who we are and what we do best. All in all, the cost of Fish Stick’s medical care alone was near $3,000. This does not include everyday expenses of living in a shelter, such as his food, litter, supplies or staff time.

Fish Stick pioneers a way for so many other cats who deserve a second chance after a bleak outlook.

We simply wouldn’t be able to take care of cats like Fish Stick if it weren’t for your support. Your tax-deductible donation ensures that more cats facing the worst have a chance at finding health and happiness in a new loving home.

With hope and gratitude,

EC Michaels
Executive Director
Cat Care Society

P.S. Thanks to you, Cat Care Society was able to help over 1,000 cats last year! Because we rely 100% on donations to keep up, we need your help to find loving homes for cats in need.

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