As an adult, you know there aren’t any strange creatures lurking under your bed, so taking a sneak peek before bedtime is safe right? Well not for Paul Russell who had a big surprise waiting for him. Paul was worried about a distant relative of his in Pennsylvania and he knew this relative was going through a difficult time, and Paul wanted to somehow help out.
Making A Decision
Paul Russell’s distant relative was already 82 years old and had only recently moved from his house in Pennsylvania. This distant relative was accustomed to living on his own but because of old age, he could no longer afford to take care of himself. Aside from that, he was already stricken with a mysterious disease.
The old man’s family decided to transfer him to a nursing home that was nearer to them. This would make it easier to keep tabs on him. And even though this was the best option for the old man, his family didn’t have much of an idea about him and it was possible that taking him out would lead to a strange sequence of events.
Entering The House
All nursing homes had a “no pets allowed” policy. This meant that the old man left behind his 17-year old Siamese cat, Siam. Paul Russell decided to step up and saw this as an opportunity to help. Paul and his partner were self-proclaimed animal lovers and already had a few pets of their own.
It did not take long for Paul Russell to find out that Siam was not the only creature in that room. Paul moved, opened the front door, and finally flicked the light switch on and off. There was nothing there. He had to go to the cellar to locate the breaker. But before that, there was something he had to get.
A Creeping Feeling
He came back to his car and grabbed an emergency flashlight. He turned it on but almost dropped it when he directed the light to something in the hallway. At first, he smelled something fishy and he stumbled while walking. When he checked what caused him to trip, he realized that the whole house was full of garbage from the floor to the ceiling.
All the windows were dark, and the wall had strange marks. Paull Russell tried to shake the feeling that someone or something was watching him as he carefully threaded the room. He convinced himself that it might just be a mouse or a snake, but it might be something worse.
Hiding In The Dark
Paul Russell felt goosebumps all over his spine when he shone the ray of the flashlight to the walls. He could not help but wonder who made the marks. Maybe it was Siam. He inspected all the marks and discovered that the wallpaper had been scratched.
He gulped and could feel his heart in his throat. He walked down the hallway and quietly called for Siam, and he whispered, “Kitty, kitty.” He felt something out of the ordinary and his instincts told him to run away. But he did not want to leave the house without Siam.
Paul walked to the kitchen and found Siam’s food bowl. He filled the bowl with cat food that he brought with him, but Siam did not respond. He felt his heart rate drop and shouted for Siam’s name once he calmed down for a bit.
It was impossible for Paul Russell to find Siam in the dark if it decided to hide. There were just too many placed the cat could be in. It dawned on him that there was no other choice but to go down to the basement and turn on the switch. As he was about to go, he heard a sound which surprised him even before he came to the dark stairway.
A Huge Creature
There was a loud, piercing cry that echoed in the entire room, and Paul Russel froze in place. He listened carefully and heard a thump. However, the noise came out from a different room. It was from the bathroom by the end of the hall. He carefully threaded through the door and walked his legs.
Going Back In
Paul Russell didn’t think twice and kicked the door open. He pulled back the shower curtains. He finally saw what he was looking for. Siam was crouched in the stall bathroom. The cat was already scared and was hungry. No one knew for sure when was the last time that cat had a portion of decent food for the past few days.
Paul Russell started to think about Siam, but his thoughts were cut off when he heard a different sound coming from the dark. He heard an indistinct grumbling that reverberated through the hall from a different room. And since Siam was already with him, who else made that sound?
At The Vet
Paul Russell tried to convince himself that the sound had come from a raccoon that accidentally entered an abandoned home. It might also explain why Siam was hiding in the bath. He walked across the door and his expression was indiscernible.
It was common sense to simply take Siam with him and escape the place, but Paul Russell acted differently. He had a burst of courage and he searched around. A huge creature dashed out from under the bed and ran down to the cellar. Paul started to wonder, “What was that?”
Paul was so scared that he darted out of the house. Before he returned to the cellar, he had to muster all the courage he had. And now that his spouse, Jill, was with him, he decided to go back inside. But this time, he was prepared.
They prudently walked down the stairs and brought flashlights with them. Paul remembered, “The next day, I went into the creepy old cellar… I’m down there with a flashlight looking— it was almost like a horror movie. Then I found it hunkering in the corner…”
The huge creature was trapped and pulled into the pit. Jill was bewildered so she just stood back. Now that she saw the creature, she finally believed her husband when he told her that the creature was dusty and might have several legs.
Paul Russell was curious about what they found. They decided to rush the alien creature to the vet in hopes that they would get some concrete answers. Paul and Jill trembled as they handed the animal to the vet. They were still wondering what the creature was. Paul was hopeful that it was an undiscovered animal. Or it might just be a creature that was covered too much and was just a common animal.
Monster Under The Bed
It was the first time the vets saw that kind of creature. Then the odd creature turned around. Everyone was at a loss for words for what they saw next. They saw that the head of the creature protruded from the strange tentacles that covered the body.
The team decided to remove the mass after they injected the animal with general anesthesia. The shelter posted this on Facebook, “Our Medical team shaved off the pounds of intertwined fur from her body, and, needless to say, she’s feeling so much better now!” But we still had no idea what creature it was.
The veterinarians had a series of arguments on how they would find out what exactly was the creature they were staring at. Finally, they settled upon the decision of injecting the creature with anesthesia in order to remove all the fur safely.
Looking Out For Each Other
Because of its knack for hiding, they had decided to name the creature Hidey. It was caught under pounds of matt fur. Unluckily for Hidey, its old owner had forgotten about Hidey for a very long time.
Caitlin Lasky, a Western PA Humane Society Senior Marketing Communications Manager, reported, “Hidey was overweight, so that makes it harder for [cats] to groom themselves, and that’s when you see matting happen.” It seemed that the strange creature they found was a cat.
A Happy Ending
In addition to her previous comment, the senior marketing communications manager for Western PA Humane Society, Caitlin Lasky, added, “They hadn’t seen anything like that.” She was referring to the cat’s dreadlocks and how it was extracted safely. Hidey extremely impressed the veterinary team.
A Unique Case
And furthermore, Caitlyn added, “Even looking online, I had a hard time finding anything similar, so it’s a unique case.” For this instance, the only way to save the cat was to shave all its fur. The squad was not allowed to have errors.
Caitlyn’s last comment was “The fur was weighing up to two pounds! “Lots of furs. It had to be years of matting for it to get that long.” It might not be an exaggeration to say that Hidey was the fattest and hairiest cat in history. What was sadder was, she didn’t have a home.
Paul Russell and Jill decided to take responsibility for both Hidey and Siam. It was fortunate that the two cats had found a new place they could call home and the two other cats and two other dogs of the Russells have gained new siblings.
Hidey might take a longer time to see who she was but now that her overgrown fur was gone, it had helped her to make transitions in life. She might not have realized it yet, but she now had the opportunity to live a happy and healthy life. Hopefully, Hidey would learn to trust humans again.
It could take some time for Hidey to settle down after years of not being taken care of. Russell said, “She’s been hiding under the bed for the last few days. I’ve been dragging her out and holding her, and she’s starting to purr a lot.”
Little By Little
Paul Russell narrated, “For the last couple of days, she’s climbed from under the bed on her own, and I’ve got a cat’s bed, so she’s starting to work her way to see more people.” Dan Rossi, the CEO of the Animal Rescue League Shelter and the Western PA Human Society, commented, “The companionship of a pet will offer many positive benefits to the elderly, but it is a great responsibility to own a pet.”
Also, Dan had given a warning and some helpful advice on what Paul and Jill could do with the situation. He said, “If a family member, friend, or neighbor owns a pet, please help them ensure that there is a support system in place if / when mental faculties begin to decline.”
Open Door Shelters
For his last comment, Dan mentioned, “Also, open door shelters such as the Animal Rescue League Shelter and the Western PA Humane Society do not turn any animal away unless there are other choices for the pet.” Slowly and surely would win the race and while it might take more time for Hidey to open to humans, she was slowly getting used to life without the heavyweight of her overgrown fur.
Run The House
Paul Russell said, “Other than being standoff, in which you are keeping her, and she’s going to purr.” Jill, however, was more hopeful for Hidey. She chimed in and said, “She’s going to run the house in six months.”
A Little Trimmer
Jill said, “And now she’s going to be a little trimmer.” Someone finally realized the struggle Hidey faced when she was still covered with overgrown fur and it was a good thing that professionals had taken care of that for her. Hopefully, this article would prevent more cases of unintended abuse on animals amongst the elderly.
Apparently, there was another cat who suffered the same fate as Hidey’s. The same thing happened to another cat named Sinbad. The cat was rescued in Chicago from an elderly woman who was no longer able to take care of Sinbad.
Neglected For A While
The cat had been unintentionally neglected. Sinbad had overly grown matted fur. Fortunately, his rescuers showed up and the owner of Sinbad agreed that the cat would be better off with another owner. Because of this, the society members planned out what they could do.
The team thought on how they could calm Sinbad down as they shaved the overgrown matted fur that he was stuck in. It was a good thing that the cat cooperated with the rescuers and was easy to take care of.
It dawned upon Sinbad what was going on. He was calm during the entire process as the workers cleaned him up. Gradually, the sweet little Sinbad came out from beneath his overgrown matted furry mess.
They had to take two sitting in order to remove all of Sinbad’s overgrown fur. During those two sittings, they had to sedate him for two hours and once the task was finally completed, the workers found out that they had taken off an extreme amount of fur which even weight around five pounds.
Once all the cat’s excess fur was removed, Sinbad was no longer recognizable. The five pounds of lost hair made a huge difference in his appearance. Because his little body was now sensitive to temperature, Sinbad was gifted with a cute t-shirt in order to keep himself warm.
Such A Relief
And now that Sinbad’s fur had been taken care of, the cat had to relearn how to walk using his hind legs. He had barely used them ever since he got buried along with his overgrown fur. This caused his hind legs to become atrophied.
Getting A Lot Of Attention
The new owner of Sinbad mentioned in an interview, “Now he’s getting lots of TLC and attention… I’m just astounded at how he just loves people… Even though people haven’t always treated him very well… It’s a lesson we could all learn.”
The education manager at the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society, Elliott Serrano, said, “He didn’t get a lot of attention because of all the matting on his body and carrying five pounds worth of mats so he was not just in a neglective environment but a neglective condition as well.”
Now that the overgrown hair had been solved and the cat had some therapy for walking, there was still another issue that had to tackle. Sinbad had been deeply malnourished when the rescuers found him, so now Sinbad had to gain weight. Dr. Robyn Barbiers, the president of the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society, mentioned, “We had a volunteer step up who is very good at getting cats to eat, started making a gruel, putting it in his mouth and after six days of that he started eating on his own.”
Now that Sinbad was slowly getting healthier again, he had to be listed for adoption. And yet, something happened while someone fostered Sinbad. The foster parent felt a special bond with the cat, and he said, “That first weekend when I took him home when he just wanted to lay on my chest and purr and chirp and be with me. That convinced me that he wanted to stay.”
The foster parent had also added, “We would never have known if somebody hadn’t cared enough to see an animal in need, take a photo, get it to us so that our investigators could go out and rescue this cat.”
Then Vs. Now
In the present, Sinbad was currently making the best out of his life with his new owner. He now weighed over eight pounds which were a healthy weight for a cat of his size. The new owner described Sinbad as feisty with a great attitude. He even posted a photo on Instagram. It was a photo that showed Sinbad after he jumped on his shoulders.
It was a good thing that the story had met a happy ending. And this would not have been possible without the help from the utility worker who found out about Sinbad. Aside from that, the worked didn’t just watch but instead, he did something about it and went so far as to help the cat.