The cat who wouldn't take no for an answer

Six-year-old Bernie was hobbling along the highway, but was begging to get off the street.

Bernie the cat, fullBy day, Bernie was seen hobbling along a busy highway. By night, he could be found hunkering down under someone’s porch, or, as weather would allow, on top it. And though street-savvy six-year-old Bernie wasn’t starving for food, for at least three weeks, he was starved for attention—begging to come into a nearby woman’s house. Trouble was: Bernie didn’t look like a guest you'd want to invite in.

For one, one of Bernie’s front legs was abnormally and noticeably always bent. Though it looked like something gory had happened to him, it had happened quite some time ago. Now, his leg was fused into a misshapen, bent position, and all the muscles in that little leg had, unfortunately, worn away.

And then there was his fur. He didn’t just have a mat or two. He had huge mats all over his filthy dirty body. Just one of these mats would later take HSHV’s intake staff a good 20 minutes to remove.

But, he couldn’t have been sweeter. And he wouldn't take "no" for an answer, continually begging at the home of a woman who brought him to us. And he sparkled.

“Nothing gets him down,” wrote our feline behavior specialist after spending some time with him. “He’s just awesome.”

And Bernie wasn’t just tolerant and ceaselessly patient when we removed his mats, he also sailed through the surgery to remove his atrophied front leg that was painful to even the gentlest of touch. He was just happy to be loved. And to be fed. And fed.

(A loving foster parent taught Bernie to “fist bump” to get a treat. He was a quick learner, and, together with his power of persuasion, sweet talked enough treats to gain over 5 pounds while in our care!)Bernie the cat, petting

Recently, a lovely lady whose 17 year old dog had died came to HSHV looking for a middle aged cat. Bernie picked her out immediately, and, once again, turned on his "Hunka Burnie Love" charm. Somehow he knew she was the one, living in a one-floor studio—the perfect size for three-legged Bernie. Because, more than anything, Bernie was looking for someone with the biggest of hearts.

Thank you for not giving up on Bernie!

 

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All images and photographs are courtesy of HSHV staff and Jeffrey E. Roush of Two Cat Studios.