In the small town of Morrilton, Arkansas, a bubbly orange tabby cat named Morris had made the local liquor store his home for over a year.
Morris had won the hearts of both employees and customers with spunky personality and irresistible charm.
Despite how popular he was, the community was late to take action when Morris’s health took a tragic turn for the worse.
Keep reading to find out how this beloved liquor store cat was able to overcome the odds thanks to the help of a kind-hearted rescuer and dedicated vet team!
A Loyal Friend
Morris had earned the reputation of being an exceptionally friendly cat who’d make frequent appearances around the liquor store.
He’d greet customers and make them smile, winning the hearts of many people in the community.
But one day, some of the liquor store workers noticed that Morris had a bad injury on his face.
Thinking his wounds would scab over and heal on their own, no one felt it was urgent to get Morris medical attention.
What they didn’t know was that Morris had developed a severe abscess on his face that ruptured.
His injury only got worse, leaving the left side of his face severely damaged from cheek to neck.
When it became clear Morris’s life was in danger, one of the liquor store employees posted on Facebook begging for help.
Sarah Richardson, rescue coordinator for Community Cats of Central Arkansas, saw the post and immediately took action.
She arranged an emergency rescue with one of her volunteer transporters, who jumped in her car at 11pm and made a 2 hour drive to rescue Morris.
But Morris was not going to make it easy for them.
The normally friendly liquor store cat was hiding under the deck, too terrified to come out.
Thankfully, they were able to coax Morris out from under the deck and into a carrier.
However, Morris was in pain, confused, and stressed by all the commotion.
He cried and whimpered the entire car ride home, unable to shake off the fear and anxiety.
Little did he know, the love and care he was about to receive would change his life forever.
Helpful Hands, Hopeful Hearts
When Sarah finally met Morris face-to-face, her heart broke at the sight of his injuries.
“I’d only seen two photos of him on Facebook,” said Sarah. “I knew it was going to be bad, but it was much worse than I expected.”
Morris was in a tremendous amount of pain and Sarah wasted no time getting to work.
She immediately gave him pain medication, giving Morris a chance to take a long, much needed nap.
“It was probably the first time in a long time that he was able to get some real rest,” said Sarah. “The pain he’d endured took a serious toll on his body.”
Sarah took Morris to several vets early the next morning, hoping she’d find someone to take on his case.
“This was unlike any injury I’d ever seen in all my years of cat rescue,” said Sarah. “It looked like half of his face had been ripped off.”
All the vets were taken aback by the severity of his injuries.
They knew he’d require multiple surgeries and skin grafts, but they were uncertain about the outcome.
“After seeing four vets, we finally found a wonderful vet who’d take his case,” said Sarah.
At last, Morris was on the path to heal.
Morris the Miracle
Because of the severity of Morris’s injuries, he was hospitalized at the vet clinic for several weeks.
This meant a lot of quality time with the vet team!
Much like the liquor store employees and customers, the vet team became smitten with sweet Morris.
Once he was in less pain, his irresistible charm and sparkling personality started to shine through!
Despite how much pain and suffering he’d endured, Morris still loved to be pet and held.
It didn’t take long for him to open his heart and become very trusting of the amazing vet team taking care of him.
“They’ve fell in love with him,” said Sarah. “The vet and her team took turns carrying him around like a baby and rocking him to sleep.”
Morris took all his medication and treatment like a champ.
He was no longer scared or anxious. He’d returned to his cheerful, bubbly old self!
“He purrs constantly. He’s never met a stranger!” said Sarah.
Morris’s journey has earned him an adorable title: Morris the Miracle.
“He has the longest recovery ahead of him compared to any other cat in our care right now,” said Sarah. “But we’re committed to making sure he’s happy and healthy no matter how long it takes.”
The Road to Recovery
The vet couldn’t find the source of the abscess, leading her to believe that his injury had been left untreated for a very long time.
She discovered fungus and bacteria growing all over his open wounds.
Though the skin was dead, the tissue was still viable, meaning the vet was able to save his tissue and start the first phase of treatment.
She shaved and cleaned his entire face and put him on heavy antibiotics.
His wound treatment protocol was so intense that it required that his bandages be re-wrapped every 24-48 hours.
“The vet said Morris was a “Houdini” at wiggling out of his bandages,” Sarah laughed. “She learned to get creative about securing them.”
Little by little, the vet team started to see the fruits of their labor as Morris made progress.
After 2 months of being hospitalized, Sarah received some amazing news: Morris was finally ready to go home!
Welcome Home, Morris!
Sarah was thrilled to learn that Morris was stable enough to leave the vet clinic and enter his foster home.
“Some rescue days are really hard, but days like this make it all worth it,” said Sarah on Instagram. “Morris the Miracle is HOME from his long hospital stay!”
Everyone is so proud of Morris and all the progress he’s made since being rescued.
“We’re so grateful for his continued progress,” said Sarah. “He’ll be spending quality time with his foster getting all the love and attention he deserves.”
They’re still keeping a close eye on his wounds to make sure everything goes according to plan.
Sweet Morris will be available for adoption in a few weeks when he’s fully healed!
“Thank you to everyone for cheering him on during his long recovery,” said Sarah.
Between all the treatment, hospitalization, and round-the-clock care, Morris’s medical bills became a big financial commitment.
If you’d like to help Sarah and Community Cats of Central Arkansas with Morris’s medical expenses, please donate through our Meow Mail program.
In exchange for your donation, you’ll be emailed a heartwarming update on Morris and how you helped him live happily ever after.
About Our Heroes
Community Cats of Central AR is a small 501(c)3 non-profit rescue organization led by two women, Sarah Richardson and Stephanie Spence, who rescue and rehabilitate cats from rural towns with high animal cruelty rates.
They rely on donations from kind-hearted individuals to continue saving cats & kittens that have suffered from neglect, abuse, or abandonment.
In addition to their direct intake, they pull special needs cats, senior cats, and cats in critical condition from the top kill shelters in the state to prevent unnecessary euthanasia.