Update on Saint, the stray cat who barely survived: He’s holding strong

Tue, 03/29/2016 - 3:30pm

    THOMASTON — It’s been a little over a month since we reported on a starved and emaciated stray cat who had a slim chance of survival, once he was brought in to Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County.

    The staff named him Saint. When they got him off the street, he faced an uphill battle and the staff had to get each issue under control, starting with feeding him, cutting the mats out of his coat and ridding him of fleas. He was barely able to walk, falling down on his front paws. After he was given medication to combat an upper respiratory infection and he was stabilized, they did some him blood work and discovered he had one more issue: diabetes.

    “The report came back that his sugars were really high, so we had to give him insulin,” said Joanna Boynton, assistant manager at the shelter. “He’s doing well and he’s getting around better. But right now we’re trying to adjust the dosage of insulin. And that usually takes awhile.”

    At the time of our original story, Theresa Gargan, the shelter manager, predicted he’d be ready to adopt within a month, but his diabetes has prolonged that estimate.

    “Right now, we don’t have a determined time frame to adopt him out,” said Boynton.  “Getting a handle on diabetes is a tricky process as insulin levels in cats are hard to stabilize.”

    For the time being, he’s still putting on weight, which he needs. He is also growing a new coat of fur, which was filthy and matted when he arrived and had to be shaved down when they did their first medical examination under sedation.

    “We gave him a nice bath at that time too,” said Boynton. Now, she said, his fur is growing back softer.

    “He’s definitely much more aware of what’s going on,” she said. “He’s an older cat so he still has a little of that grumpy, leave-me-alone vibe. But, he’s definitely acting more like a cat now, not a zombie. When he first came to us he wasn’t aware of anything else but survival.”

    When Saint’s story went viral, the shelter got dozens of calls to adopt him. “We had a lot of people showing interest in taking him home,” she said. “Someone who does would need to know how to treat a cat with special needs.”

    This resource gives that information: felinediabetes.com

    For more information: humanesocietyofknoxcounty.org

    Kay Stephens can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com