The loneliness was weighing on Manny. But not as much as his hunger and thirst. Manny’s owner was long gone after packing up, locking the apartment doors, and abandoning him inside.
The young cat had no way to find food or even escape outside to the street, where he’d at least have a chance at scrounging up something edible. And so he waited. Hours in the empty, dark apartment turned to days and weeks.
Finally, one day, he heard voices and a key turning in the lock. As the door opened, Manny saw light flood the space for the first time in ages, and the landlord, who had waited long enough for any kind of contact from the tenant, came inside with a police officer. What was intended to be a check of the property was about to turn into a rescue of a cat on his last legs.
There was Manny, bony and weak, his gray and white coat matted and dingy. He meowed with the last ounces of energy he had left before the landlord scooped him up and rushed to the Connecticut Humane Society.
As soon as he arrived at CHS’ Newington Pet Wellness and Adoption Center, staff offered a bowl of food to the famished feline. Manny gobbled up every bit in record time. He head-butted and rubbed up against his new friends, saying “thanks” in the only way he knew how, and soaked up every second of affection they gave him.
He was easy to handle during his evaluation (thanks to his temperament, as well as his size—he was under 5 pounds), though he sniffed and stretched his paws in every direction in search of more food.
He got his own space in the medical department, along with an intensive plan from CHS veterinarians for close monitoring, frequent weigh-ins and carefully planned meals. He was ravenous, but needed to only eat small amounts on a strict schedule as his shrunken stomach grew used to food again.
The medical team pegged Manny as a 1-year-old and couldn’t get enough of his antics: He didn’t hesitate to climb onto shoulders of anyone who gave him a hug or knelt down to pet him, and he enjoyed getting a bird’s-eye-view from his new perch. For such a young guy who’d already gone through so much, he was still hopeful and happy and simply grateful to be loved.
Over the next few weeks, Manny filled out and his coat was now soft and clean. He was ready to find love. Unlike the start of his journey, there wasn’t much waiting. A family saw him, heard his story and was happy for the chance to treat him like a king. Now he’s home and never has to wonder where his next meal—or hug—will come from.