Happily Homed: Boots
With a face guaranteed to make anyone melt, our senior red tabby Boots first came to Cat Care Society as a transfer from our friends at Dumb Friends League in late 2022 with his bonded buddy Tigger.
Both Boots and Tigger were in rough shape, with a severe upper respiratory infection (URI) dehydration, emerging diabetes, vision impairment, dental disease, and overall very guarded prognosis, our lead veterinarian Dr. Cecily Palamara recalled. We also observed some muscle wasting, which tracked with his being underweight. Boots also had poor eyesight, and we believe he may have been fully — or at least mostly — blind.
After much medical attention, we worked up a rigorous medication and treatment plan to boost this guy back to health.
Boots was not a fan of the plan, nor any food we tried to offer him. He was officially classified as anorexic. Couple this with some depression and a new suspicion of bacterial cystitis, and we began to fear the worst for his outcome and quality of life. The options were humane euthanasia or aggressive intervention.
We’re not quick to give up here at CCS, so the second route became our plan. We had a roadmap for treatment and believed that our boy could pull through. We even consulted with other feline experts to confirm our plan had merit. Lo and behold, his will to live came out the very next day, as he finally showed interest in food again and had put on a tiny bit more weight. But, he also showed worsening URI symptoms.
Boots no longer tolerated syringe feeding, and he still desperately needed fluids, so his next step was to receive IVs and a feeding tube. He and Tigger both went home with none other than our executive director EC Michaels as a foster for close monitoring. Things started to look up for Boots there, as just four days in his spirits slowly seemed to lift, he became more active, and he licked up food all on his own. A week later he was doing so well that he no longer needed his feeding tube.
Little by little, we were ticking concerns off the list as Boots recovered from his many initial issues. Unfortunately, Tigger struggled to recover as well, and his immune system couldn’t keep up with medical treatment, and his prognosis for recovery was grave. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Tigger and put all our energy into our Boots.
Next up was his much overdue dental work. Boots needed nearly all of his teeth extracted due to the extent of his dental disease. But he handled it like a champ and continued to thrive in foster.
In fact, he was beginning to do so well that his naughty side emerged, and Boots was caught sneaking into the treat stash late at night. He seemed significantly happier and active. His medical checkups agreed, and he began loudly purring throughout his exams. He was finally free of the worst of his issues and was now ready for adoption!
By early 2023, Boots had an interested adopter. Because of the extent of his previous issues, he was placed in our Foster to Adopt program, which allows someone to “foster” a cat with the intent of adoption them while they continue medical treatment at the shelter.
Boots needed to be switched to a renal diet thanks to his kidney disease and pre-diabetic state, but he was picky about changes to the foods he liked. Sometimes with cats in this state, you have to pick your battles, and we knew it was better for Boots to be eating anything than nothing.
Boots thrived in his FTA home, gaining more weight and with an improved, healthy coat. His tube sites and dental extractions were healed, and his appetite and litter box usage was on the right track. Each recheck exam went better and better. By April, this spunky and sweet boy was ready to be officially adopted.
Laura and her mother had been long-time supporters of Cat Care Society, going all the way back to when we operated out of the house before our current shelter was built. When one of her cats passed away, she came in to donate some of the old cat food to us, and Boots couldn’t resist jumping up on the counter to rub himself all over her face. She didn’t come in looking for another cat, but when she left, she couldn’t stop thinking about that orange boy. Laura began calling the shelter regularly to get updates on Boots and followed along his medical journey. Finally, during one call, our front desk staff asked her if she’d like to adopt him, and the answer was yes!
Laura had only ever owned Siamese cats before, but says her uncle who had recently passed had an orange cat, which may be why she was drawn to him. Even though he was so skinny at first and his fur was lackluster, she helped nurse him to health, sitting with him while he ate. Now, he eats regularly all on his own.
To do a slow, proper transition, Laura kept Boots in her bedroom at first, even though he was plenty ready to explore the whole house. Her other resident cat didn’t love Boots at first, but came around to him, and now they can be caught snuggling together and wrestling.
Boots claimed Laura’s bed as his own, and he can’t get enough of her company. He loves snuggling into her neck and chest, wanting to be as close as possible. “He’s just the sweetest if any cat I’ve ever had, the most loving and snuggly,” she said. “They told me he’d be high maintenance with all of his previous medical issues. But if you hadn’t told me he was blind, I’d never know.”
Most of the time, Laura says she’d never know he was blind because he is so adventurous. However, one day she heard him meowing up a storm and finally found him in the basement. He somehow jumped up on a high shelf and didn’t know how to get himself down! He’s also a fan of putting his front feet into the dog’s water dish and splashing around in it. “At first I didn’t know he did that, and was so confused why he’d come up to me with wet feet,” Laura laughs.
“I’m just so glad you did so much work with him, because he’s just so amazing,” she said. “I am glad he picked me. I call him Boots Boots. He is so sweet, cute and smart.” Laura has no regrets about adopting an older cat and said taking care of Boots is so easy.
Cats like Boots are why we go to such lengths. No matter how rough they may be when they make it to the shelter, so often, there is so much love they have to give and life they have yet to live. Boots is one of those cats that makes our hearts full of warmth thinking about how far they’ve come and how much they deserve they life they now have.
Have you adopted from CCS in the past? We’d love to hear how it’s going! Send us your adoption success stories (and photos!) to be featured in our #adoptionupdate series on social media or on our website.
Feel compelled by our work and want to help more cats in need find loving homes? Please send us a financial gift to provide life-saving medical care and adoption services to cats like Boots. Donations can be made online HERE (and all funds received from Nov. 1 to Dec. 5, 2023, count for our Colorado Gives Day fundraising goal, with extra opportunities for matching incentive funds. We appreciate your support!