Some cats are actually homeless before they physically lose the roof over their heads. Although they have somewhere to sleep, they are no longer fed, no longer cared for, then the inevitable happens.
And they are cast out onto the streets.
Warning: Some of the images below may be disturbing for some readers.
As was the case with Ozzie. A senior cat whose owners gave up on him long before he had nowhere to call home. Left as skin and bone, with rotten teeth and a broken heart.
He had lost his right to food, to love and attention, until his owner took the last step and Ozzie lost his home too. From then on he was a senior cat at 15 years of age living on the streets of Vancouver, British Colombia.
He was found by rescuers curled up on a porch, his fur was matted, the space between his legs was so tight that waking must have been agony. Who knows how far this senior cat had walked before finding this porch and just calling it day giving up.
The hard thing to take was that Ozzie had only been living on the streets for a couple of days. Which meant he had got into this state while supposedly in his owners care.
But now for the first time in who knows how long, Ozzie was the center of attention.
The organization brought him to a veterinarian, where he underwent a battery of tests. Ozzie was shaved, freeing him at last from his crippling coat. He got much-needed dental work.
The final, most crucial treatment was for Ozzie’s battered heart. A woman stepped up to foster the cat — and, it didn’t take long before his most vital organ was healed.
“He follows me everywhere and talks the whole time,” his foster mother told the Animal Advocacy Rescue Society. “He sits with me on the couch and loves the blanket. If I stop patting him, he touches my cheek with his paw, being careful not to claw. He is so sweet.”
In fact, Ozzie proved too sweet to ever be alone again. His foster family became his forever family. And, although it took 15 years, this cat finally knew what it meant to be wanted.
You can read more about Ozzie’s incredible journey to health — and a real home — here.