A cat transformed completely after years living outside, and finally has what he's been searching for.
Garfield the catWhitney Malin
Earlier this year, Whitney Malin, an animal rescuer with over 15 years of experience (@allpawspetsitting1) based in New Jersey, found an orange tabby cat in desperate need of rescue. He was in very rough shape with a severe wound on his back that was covered in maggots.
Whitney was able to get the cat with the help of a humane trap, and was shocked by the condition he was in. Dr. Morkos, a veterinarian, spent half an hour cleaning and treating the wound for the cat whom they named Garfield.
Once the infection cleared up, Garfield had surgery on his back to remove necrotic tissue to ensure a full recovery.
Garfield was found outside with a severe wound on his backWhitney Malin
Days post operation, Garfield felt so much better as if a huge weight had been lifted off his back. His voracious appetite also returned.
Garfield was a bit wary of people at first after the long ordeal, but he clearly wanted affection. He needed a foster home where he could continue his healing process and to be cared for and socialized.
He received the medical care that he desperately neededWhitney Malin
Laura S. and her husband Josh opened up their hearts and home to Garfield and made it their mission to help him thrive.
"This is a couple with so much love in their hearts, who have years of experience with all kinds of cats--difficult, easy and everywhere in between," Whitney shared with Love Meow. "I want him to know what it feels like to have a good life."
With lots of TLC, Garfield came out of his shell and started to show interest in playing. He was thrilled to be rewarded with delicious treats while he had a blast playing with an assortment of toys.
The couple continued to show Garfield that people aren't so bad, while reassuring him that his life moving forward would be filled with love, comfort and joy.
He came out of his shell when he realized he was safeWhitney Malin
Garfield adjusted beautifully to indoor life, and soon discovered the amusement of his tail. He started catching it, trying to wrestle with it while channeling his inner kitten.
Watch Garfield in this video:
Just a few months prior, Garfield was leading a challenging life on the streets with a huge wound on his back. He's come a long way and blossomed into the happiest, snuggliest purr machine.
Garfield started to show affection and was eager to be lovedWhitney Malin
Garfield enjoys the company of his people and insists on sitting next to them, so he can receive pets on demand. He revels in head scritches and will rub against his humans for more.
The sweet boy has learned to perch on a lap for warmth and lots of snuggles.
Garfield has made a full recovery, really filled out and grown a fluffy and soft coat.
When he was ready to find a place of his own, a wonderful family came to meet him. Cory and her husband, Guy, fell head over heels for the sweet boy and adopted him into their loving home.
He's come a long way and transformed into a handsome fellaCory and Guy
"Garfield had a rough start to life. Dr. Morkos and his staff took care of him and healed him. Laura and Josh fostered him, gave him so much love and taught him how to trust," Whitney shared.
Whitney makes sure that all her rescues are fully vetted, and she finds homes for even the toughest cases. "Now, Garfield is in his forever home."
Garfield has found what he's been searching for, his forever homeCory and Guy
"He jumped up on the couch to be with the family. He even allows pets on his back--this is a miracle. I am beyond grateful."
Happy and lovedCory and Guy
"Now, he has a human brother that serenades him with his guitar."
Cory and Guy
Garfield now renamed Freddy Van Gogh has a feline sister named Millie that he enjoys hanging out with every day.
Cory and Guy
Share this story with your friends. If you would like to support Whitney's rescue effort, be sure to follow her on Instagram @allpawspetsitting1.