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Woman From Tampa Rescues A Poisoned Stray Cat And Changes His Life For The Better

Woman From Tampa Rescues A Poisoned Stray Cat And Changes His Life For The Better

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When Dominique from Tampa, Florida, spotted Smoosh on her way to work struggling to walk, she immediately recognized him as a cat she had helped through a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) program two years prior.

At the time, Smoosh hadn’t shown any signs of health issues, so Dominique was puzzled by his sudden difficulty. Dismissing the idea of a hit-and-run, she sensed a different cause for Smoosh’s troubles. 

Determined to uncover the truth and provide Smoosh with the assistance he needed, Dominique took it upon herself to investigate further and ensure his well-being.

As soon as Dominique laid eyes on Smoosh, he tried to run away. He was awkwardly extending his back legs, dragging them behind as he stumbled and fell. 

Not wasting a moment, Dominique fetched the large fishing net from her car that she often used to rescue stray cats in distress. However, by the time she returned, Smoosh had vanished.

Capturing Smoosh proved challenging that day. His instincts as a long-time stray, coupled with the discomfort he was likely experiencing, made him elusive. 

He continuously dodged Dominique, seeking refuge in hidden spots, evidently wary of being captured.

Despite having work commitments, Dominique was resolute. She managed to leave work earlier than usual, driven by her commitment to assist Smoosh with whatever struggles he was facing.

stray cat trapped in net
Credit: YouTube

When she came back, Dominique found Smoosh asleep at the same spot where she had last seen him. She carefully approached and successfully secured him with her net.

Smoosh’s reaction was far from pleased; he lashed out, leaving a scratch on Dominique’s arm. She understood his behavior as a natural instinct to protect himself and wasn’t deterred by it.

It was evident that Smoosh was struggling to move, a clear sign that his condition had worsened significantly throughout the day. 

Now in Dominique’s caring hands, Smoosh was finally on the path to receiving the aid he needed to recover. 

vet examining poisoned cat
Credit: YouTube

Dominique, who volunteers for Rags to Riches Animal Rescue Inc. in Tampa, Florida, immediately reached out to her go-to veterinarian, Dr. Ginex, who swiftly arranged an appointment for Smoosh.

Upon examination, it was discovered that Smoosh had been poisoned, with rat poison wreaking havoc in his system and causing paralysis.

Thankfully, the subsequent weeks saw Smoosh making a swift recovery, with no lasting effects other than occasional tremors. Dominique provided a cozy and private recovery space for him in her bathroom, ensuring his comfort.

Throughout his recuperation, Dominique and her team observed that Smoosh’s tremors gradually decreased and were mainly triggered by either fear or excitement, indicating significant improvement.

Dominique devoted exceptional care to Smoosh, and among all the animals she had rescued, he was the one who most needed her support. Reflecting on his recovery, Dominique shared her routine:

“I would wake up really early, get his room ready, and get him some dry and wet food. And man, Smoosh loved food! I’d go in there and talk to him or try to put some toys around him.”

Observing significant improvement in his condition, Dominique decided it was time for the next step: Introducing him to the rest of the animals!

“When his tremors were less frequent, that’s when I knew he could start slowly making his way out of the bathroom.”

She vividly remembers Smoosh’s first venture outside the bathroom:

“When he finally started coming out of the bathroom, you could see him just looking and walking around. I tried more and more to feed him outside of the bathroom to keep him comfortable.”

As Smoosh began exploring Dominique’s home, he quickly became pals with the other rescue animals, revealing his unique charm.

Transforming from a once fearful and aggressive stray, Smoosh emerged as a sociable, playful, and loving indoor cat.

“Smoosh is really, really sweet. He loves pets, he loves to cuddle, and he always finds these weird places to sleep.”

After spending over six months with Dominique, it was time for Smoosh to move on to his forever home. 

A family, known for their love for cats, reached out to Rags to Riches Animal Rescue Inc. interested in adopting Smoosh. Following a brief evaluation, it was clear they were the perfect fit for him.

Letting Smoosh go was bittersweet for Dominique. She said:

“I did cry a lot about Smoosh. He is a special cat to me, and goodbyes are always hard, but it’s a goal, so I can make more room for more rescues.”

Reflecting on her bond with her special feline companion, Dominique added:

“Smoosh has forever changed me, and I wish him the absolute best.”

This story warms the heart, showcasing how Dominique’s compassion gave Smoosh a second chance at a fulfilling indoor life, a stark contrast to his previous struggle for survival. 

I hope you liked this story as much as I did. For more heartwarming rescue tales, consider following Rags to Riches Animal Rescue on Instagram and Facebook.

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