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Surrendered Persian Cat Begs for Help at Shelter, Woman Drops Everything to Save Her

Surrendered Persian Cat Begs for Help at Shelter, Woman Drops Everything to Save Her

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When most people think of Persian cats, they think of a coveted breed with a high price tag, often associated with luxurious living. 

However, that wasn’t the case for Fefe, a frail 3-year-old Persian cat who’d lived a life full of hardships and neglect. 

Her fateful journey began at an animal shelter in Jacksonville, Arkansas, where she was rescued from euthanasia after being surrendered in critical condition. 

Calling for Help

Fefe was surrendered in a deplorable state to a local shelter by her previous owners.

Little is known about her backstory or what exactly led them to surrender her. 

The shelter had made it clear to her previous owners that they did not have the resources to address her health concerns, meaning Fefe would be at high risk for euthanasia. 

Fefe had a horrible upper respiratory infection (URI), fever, and one of her eyeballs was so severely infected that it was on the verge of rupturing. 

In a desperate attempt to save her life, the shelter contacted Sarah Richardson, rescue coordinator for Community Cats of Central Arkansas.

A Glimmer of Hope

Sarah works closely with the shelter to reduce their euthanasia rate by pulling high risk cats and fostering them through the rescue. 

This has saved thousands of cats and kittens from being euthanized and given them loving forever families!

“We take as many cats as we can afford to save,” said Sarah. “We do everything in our power to give each of them a fighting chance.”

Sarah usually isn’t told much about the cats the shelter asks her to take.

All she knows is that she has a very small window of time to arrive and take them.

“I didn’t know she was a Persian cat until I met her,” said Sarah. “It always shocked me to see people neglect purebred cats, but it happens all the time. 

Fefe’s once long, snow white coat was infested with fleas, severely matted, and stained with dirt and grime. 

Though one of Fefe’s eyes was on the verge of blindness, Sarah saw a glimmer of hope in her gaze. 

The Road to Recovery

Fefe was immediately relieved to be in Sarah’s home instead of a busy shelter full of unfamiliar sounds and smells. 

Upon assessing Fefe’s condition more closely, Sarah discovered the true extent of Fefe’s neglect. 

“She was so frail and weak that she couldn’t eat on her own,” said Sarah. “She needed to be fed by hand and have IV fluids to combat dehydration.”

Sarah was quick to notice Fefe’s ear infection along with fungus growing out of her ears. 

“Fungus was literally growing from earlobes outwards onto her head,” said Sarah. “We had to shave her fur to start treatment.”

Poor Fefe was falling apart; her declining health left Sarah with new challenges each day.

Thankfully, after several weeks of intensive care, Fefe began to show signs of improvement. 

Her eye that was once on the brink of rupturing finally healed, revealing the world around her in a way she hadn’t seen in a long time.

Each day, she felt less uncomfortable and more confident about her new surroundings. 

With clear vision and sinuses, Fefe blossomed into the beautiful lap cat she was destined to be! 

A Beautiful Transformation

Sarah watched in awe as Fefe transformed into an elegant little princess. 

No longer the sickly, frail cat she had once been, Fefe left her past behind and happily embraced her new life with beauty and grace.

Fefe’s personality falls in line with what’s typically expected of a Persian cat. She’s the textbook defintion of “lap cat”.

She isn’t very vocal or playful. Instead, she’s quiet, curious, and extremely affectionate.

“She prefers the company of people over other animals,” said Sarah. “She does great with other cats, but she doesn’t seek them out. If there’s not a lap to sit on, she keeps to herself.”

She’s happiest when she’s sitting on a warm lap or napping by a window and soaking up the sun.

She especially enjoys getting her hair brushed, a simple pleasure that she’d been deprived of in her previous home.

“She loves getting pampered! Her daily beauty routine is getting her hair brushed and eyes cleaned,” said Sarah. “And she never fusses about it– she loves it! She’s a total sweetheart. ”

A New Chapter Awaits

Fefe is fully vetted, spayed, and ready to be adopted! 

Until then, she’ll continue living her best life in her foster home. 

If you’re interested in adopting this sweet girl, please head over to her adoption listing to learn more. 

Please share this story to help Fefe find a forever family! 

If you’d like to help Sarah and Community Cats of Central Arkansas rescue more cats like Fefe, please donate through our Meow Mail program

In exchange for your donation, you’ll be emailed a heartwarming update on Fefe and how you helped her live happily ever after. 

A Word to the Wise

“We’re super picky about adopters for all of our cats, but we’re even pickier when it comes to purebred cats,” said Sarah. “They require much more upkeep and we want to make sure they’re adopted by people who are prepared to do the extra work.”

Each year, Community Cats of Central AR rescues several purebred cats from shelters and owners surrendering them directly.

The main reason these cats end up neglected is because people purchase them without their doing research and quickly become burdened by them.

“Purebred cats are high maintenance,” said Sarah. “They end up in our rescue because people don’t take the time to meet their unique care requirements like grooming or exercise.”

Many people think the biggest expense of a purebred cat is the initial purchase price, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Purebred cats require more vetting, have time consuming care routines, and are predisposed to more health complications and genetic diseases.

Because of this, Purebred cats are a 15+ year commitment of labor and financial sacrifices.

“People need to stop treating them like expensive toys,” said Sarah. “We strongly discourage purchasing cats from breeders. If you’re going to do it anyway, the least you can do is research the breed and understand what you’re signing up for.”

Sarah and her son rescuing a surrendered Sphynx cat

Choose The Rescue Route

If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing a purebred cat, please consider taking the ethical route and adopting one from a rescue.

If your local rescue doesn’t have one readily available, ask them to put you on a list so they can contact you when they have one. It’s worth the wait!

It’s also worth researching breed-specific rescues with the breed of cat you’re looking for. 

Would you rather feed a breeder’s pocket or spend a fraction of the cost on an adoption fee that will be spent saving more lives?

Regardless of breed, it’s important to consider that there are millions of cats in shelters and on the streets that are waiting for a loving forever family. 

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.

Despite being a volunteer-based non-profit with limited funds, they rescued 1279 cats and kittens in 2023. 

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. 

They rely on donations from kind-hearted individuals to continue saving cats & kittens that have suffered from neglect, abuse, or abandonment.

Please consider making a one-time or recurring donation through our Meow Mail program to prevent them from having to turn away cats due to limited resources. 

With your help, they can continue to combat the pain and suffering of cats in rural communities and help them blossom into happy, healthy cats with loving homes.

Be sure to check out their Facebook page and follow their rescue coordinator, Sarah, on Instagram to see more of their adorable rescue cats!

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