Staff at Douglas County Animal Care & Services Gardnerville, Nevada, were puzzled one morning upon finding an animal carrier filled with what appeared to be matted fur on their doorstep.
Shelter supervisor Liz Begovich told The Dodo: “We saw a carrier outside our door. Being an animal shelter, that usually means one thing: somebody has dumped their animal on the front porch. So we brought the carrier in and looked inside.”
“All we saw was a matted mess,” Begovich said.
Upon lifting it out of the carrier, they were heartbroken to discover it was, in fact, a cat with its head sticking out of layers upon layers of clumps of dirty tangled fur.
“We couldn’t turn him around because of the way he was shoved in the carrier, so we took the top off and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a cat!’ I’ve never seen a cat in that sort of condition,” she said.
The cat had obviously been neglected for quite some time—perhaps even years, because the poor cat was encased in its own fur.
“He couldn’t even take a step, I’m guessing that wherever he was, he had his food and water right in front of him,” Begovich said. “There was just no way for him to move.”
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office posted an appeal to the public on their Facebook page to help identify the man who was captured on the rescue center’s CCTV footage.
In the meantime, staff rushed the poor cat to the vet for an examination.
“We immediately took him to the vet where they sedated him, they shaved about 4.5 pounds of hair off of him. It filled a full-size kitchen trash bag,” Begovich said.
Staff named the 10-year-old gray cat Bob Marley because his fur was so long and unkempt it had formed into heavy dreadlocks.
Bob was immediately a changed cat once he was freed from his matted prison.
“Once the hair was off, he was walking around,” Begovich said. “I saw him looking up at the counter thinking, ‘I can jump up there.’ I thought, ‘No you can’t.’”
Bob still needed to lose weight. At 22.6 pounds (approx. 10 kg), he wasn’t able to show off his jumping abilities just yet.
Still and all, Bob’s story has a happy ending. According to Bored Panda, Bob was adopted by a loving new owner.
No more is Bob an unrecognizable mound of fur, but an adored feline that can enjoy his remaining years in a warm and welcoming forever home.