For this cat, a bad hair day turned into a bad hair life and eventually a bad hair nightmare.
For good reason too, she had been carrying around two pounds of severely matted hair for years. Her owner an elderly man, had been suffering from Alzheimer’s to the point where he could no longer care for himself. He had been moved to a nursing home, unfortunately, Hidey and her companion Siam had been left behind to fend for themselves.
Paul Russel, a distant relative of the elderly man, was the first to think of the cats. Well, really, one cat. “When they put him in the nursing home, I thought, ‘Hey, he has a cat,’” Russel told The Dodo. “The house was still open, so I went down and left some food for the cat until we figured out what we’re going to do. Then somebody mentioned that he had a second cat. So I started searching around, and suddenly this huge creature darts out from under the bed and runs down to the cellar, and I thought, ‘What was that?’”
Paul took Hidey to the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center in Pittsburgh, an affiliate of the Western PA Humane Society. They were shocked at Hidey’s appearance! “They hadn’t seen anything like that,” Caitlin Lasky, senior marketing communications manager for Western PA Humane Society, told The Dodo. “Even looking online, I had a hard time finding anything similar, so it’s definitely a unique case.”
According to the shelter, the filthy dreadlocks, some of which were 8 inches long, contained a mixture of feces and hair all tangled up together. All that hair had just stayed within the mat.
“The end of the mat contains fur [that] has been shed a long time ago. That’s how they can get to that length.” It took hours to cut all the dreads off individually to reach the matted hair which was then shaved off. “All the mats were pretty much individual so it was easy to get underneath them,” explained Jenn Levitzki, a vet technician at the center.
Hidey had to be sedated before the procedure to make her as comfortable as possible. “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!” Imagine after years of years matted hair having it all shaved off!
“Hidey is getting acclimated at her new home. There are hopes she will warm up to her new owners now that she is feeling better,” said Caitlin Lasky of Western PA Humane Society. Free of all the matted hair and dreadlocks, Hidey is feeling so much better (and lighter!) and she can finally have a chance at a happier and healthy life!
“If a family member, friend or neighbor owns a pet, please help them to make sure there is a support system in place if/when mental faculties begin diminishing,” said Dan Rossi, CEO of the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Western PA Humane Society. Here’s Hidey with her new companion: