Having a bad hair day is the worst, but this poor cat has had one for the past few years.
Horrifying photographs have been released of Hidey, a calico cat that has endured years of neglect leading to her matted fur forming giant dreadlocks on her body.
Hidey is extremely overweight and belonged to an elderly man who suffered from Alzheimer’s.
When the man from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania became too ill to live by himself he was moved into a nursing home and sadly his cats got left behind and forgotten about.
Luckily, Paul Russel, a distant relative of the elderly man was the first to think of what he thought was just one cat.
“When they put him in the nursing home, I thought, ‘Hey, he has a cat,'” Russel explained. “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?'”
Hidey’s fur was completely matted dreadlocks had formed.
“At first I thought it was a cat who had a blanket draped over her that she dragged down,” Russel said. “But no — it turned out to be Hidey. She hid down in the corner of the cellar. I’m down there with a flashlight looking — it was almost like a horror movie. And I found her hunkering in the corner. Probably very scared. Probably in a lot of pain.”
Russell took Hidey, who was named after her love for hiding, to the Animal Rescue League and Wildlife Shelter in Pittsburgh.
The vets at the shelter were stunned by the condition Hidey was in.
They hadn’t seen anything like that,” Caitlin Lasky, senior marketing communications manager for Western PA Humane Society, said. “Even looking online, I had a hard time finding anything similar, so it’s definitely a unique case.”
Hidey was put under general anaesthetic so they could shave off her extra hair
“It was 2 pounds of fur,” Lasky said. “Lots of fur. It had to be years of matting for it to get that long. She was overweight as well.”
While no one can be sure how or why Hidey’s fur got into such a bad way, the vets believe her weight had a lot to do with it.
“Hidey was really overweight, so that makes it harder for [cats] to groom themselves, and that’s when you see matting happen,” Lasky explained.
Cats with longer hair need to be brushed regularly, which the elderly man was probably unable to do.
Since Hidey has been released from the vets, she has been staying with Russel and his family and she is already showing signs of feeling better.
“She’s been hiding under the bed for the last couple of days,” Russel said. “I’ve been dragging her out, and holding her, and she purrs a lot. The last couple of days, she’s climbed out from under the bed on her own and into a cat bed I have. So she’s starting to work her way to see people more.”