On the first day of 2021, an Arkansas rescuer was feeding her feral cat colony when a new visitor mysteriously appeared.
The woman watched as the cat she’d never seen before approached the food.
New cats will show up every once and a while to the colony, but the woman had a feeling something about her new visitor wasn’t right…
Keep reading to find out what happened next.
A Mysterious Visitor
It was an early morning on New Years Day when Sarah Richardson of Community Cats of Central Arkansas went about her normal routine of feeding her feral cat colony.
Everything was pretty much routine until an unfamiliar cat showed up.
“I saw him walking out in the woods, and I had never seen him before,” Sarah shared. “Occasionally that happens where I get a new one, and I trap, neuter, and release them back.”
This new cat walked up immediately after Sarah put down the food and began to chow down.
As he approached the food, Sarah began to realize this cat might need more help than just an easy meal.
“I was looking closer and the way he was walking to the food looked like he was partially blind,” Sarah said.
She wasn’t sure, but she decided to stick around to investigate.
The Truth Revealed
Patiently, Sarah observed the cat to try and figure out the truth.
“I just sat there a little while and watched him and the way he looked around,” Sarah said. “I started talking to him. He could hear and smell me, but he couldn’t see me even though he looked around.”
Sarah spent a little more time out near the woods observing this new cat to make sure her suspicions were correct.
This poor guy just couldn’t seem to clearly see his surroundings.
Once she was sure, she immediately rushed back home to fetch her supplies, hoping he’d still be there for her to scoop up once she got back.
Rushed to Safety
When Sarah returned, the cat was luckily still hanging around!
Sarah easily managed to get him into a trap and then rushed him back to her home.
“When I trapped him, I got him home and he was in fact partially blind,” Sarah said. “He had his third eyelid covering up more than half of both his eyes.”
The cat, whom was later named Murdock, appeared to have Haws Syndrome.
Haws syndrome is a condition that occurs when a cat’s third eyelid cannot fully retract, and often ends up covering a portion of their eye.
Depending on the amount of the eye covered, the cat’s vision may be impaired.
Sarah was able to tell that Murdock was going to need some serious TLC from the vet.
A visit to the vet revealed that Murdock had a number of problems beyond just his vision impairment.
Despite struggling with a painful eye condition, infections and multiple parasites, Murdock kept a good attitude.
While he was shy and a little scared, it was clear he wasn’t feral and knew that these people wanted to help him.
The vet was able to clear him of the parasites and, after surgery, retract his third eyelid.
Sadly, he had remained in this condition for so long, the vet said that Murdock would probably never fully regain his vision.
Learning to Trust
It took a few weeks for Murdock to recover from his surgery and be clear of the parasites and their effects.
He clearly had been through a lot and was going to need some time to recover emotionally as well.
“When he first came in, he wasn’t mean but he was scared, so he would hide under the bed,” Sarah said.
Sarah is fairly certain that poor little Murdock was probably dumped by his owners near the feral colony once he started having health problems.
It made sense that it would take him some time to realize he can trust humans again.
Lucky for him, he was in the perfect hands for that journey.
“We were working with him on just trusting people,” Sarah said. “And, about a week or two before he was adopted, we had him sleeping in the bed with us!”
With Sarah’s help, Murdock began to realize that the scary days were well behind him.
Murdock had found his way back to enjoying life and couldn’t have been happier.
“He was sleeping with us, he would roll over, he wanted pets all the time,” Sarah said. “He loved treats and eating wet food. He was great, but it took a couple of weeks.”
With patience, understanding, and love, Sarah was able to help Murdock get to a point where he was ready to find a forever home.
“We put him up as a special needs adoption, because of his vision impairment,” Sarah said. “He also can temporarily suffer from other things as a consequence of having Haws syndrome.”
Happily Ever After
While Sarah was nervous about finding Murdock an adopter that could take care of his special needs, she ended up finding the perfect home for him.
Murdock joined a couple who had recently lost their cat due to old age, and they were more than happy to take in a new feline friend who needed their help.
Murdock was finally where he belonged all along! He’ll never have to worry about being abandoned or hungry ever again.
Thanks to Sarah, he’ll enjoy all the snuggles, snacks, and naps with his forever family.
Without Sarah’s help, many adult and elderly cats would be euthanized or suffer on the streets.
If you’d like to show Sarah Richardson support with her rescue missions, follow her on Instagram!
See all of her adorable rescue cats and follow their heartwarming journeys.