Krista Miranda

By Krista Miranda

LifeBuzz Staff

No One Knew What This Strange Neglected Creature Would Turn Into.

Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center

“At first, I thought it was a cat that had a blanket on top of it," Paul recalled. He knew that there was only one way to really find out. "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. And I found her hunkering in the corner. I thought, ‘My god this IS a cat.’” In an instant, Paul and his wife Jill rushed the poor creature to the vet.

Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center

The cat, aptly named Hidey due to its affinity for hiding, was trapped under pounds and pounds of its own matted fur. Sadly, its 82 year-old owner had completely forgotten about HIdey for a very, very long time. "Hidey was really overweight, so that makes it harder for [cats] to groom themselves, and that's when you see matting happen," Western PA Humane Society Senior Marketing Communications Manager Caitlin Lasky said. But how could they safely remove the cat's "dreadlocks?"

Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center

The vet team was stunned at Hidey's appearance. "They hadn't seen anything like that," Caitlin Lasky, senior marketing communications manager for Western PA Humane Society, said. "Even looking online, I had a hard time finding anything similar, so it's definitely a unique case." There really is the only way to rescue a cat in this condition: you have to shave it all off. But the team couldn't afford to make any mistakes. After putting Hidey under general anesthesia, they carefully began cutting away at the mass.

Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center

"Our Medical team shaved off the pounds of intertwined fur from her body and, needless to say, this cat is feeling so much better now!" read the the shelter's Facebook post. The fur had accumulated up to two pounds in weight! "Lots of fur. It had to be years of matting for it to get that long." In fact, Hidey turned out to be not just the hairiest cat in history but also one of the fattest. And now Hidey had an even bigger problem: she had no place to call home.

Facebook / Paul Russell

Thankfully, after Hidey was discharged from the vet hospital, Paul and his wife decided to take both Hidey and Siam in. Both felines now have a forever home with the Russells, and instant siblings in the couple’s three other cats and two dogs. It will take more time to see who Hidey really is, but she’s slowly adjusting to life without pounds of overgrown fur. She may not realize it yet, but she finally has a chance at a happy and healthy life! But could Hidey ever trust humans again?

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