It was an eventful day when Sarah Richardson of Community Cats of Central Arkansas received a call from another rescue group with a plea for help.
“I got a call from Whiskers 316 saying they’d discovered a cat with an injured eye,” said Sarah.
Though the rescuers wanted to help the sweet boy, they weren’t able to provide the vet care he needed.
Their vet had recommended he be euthanized, but the ladies of Whiskers 316 were hopeful that a second opinion could save his life.
Keep reading to discover how this tuxedo cat’s strong will to live has led him on a quest for true love.
Rushing to the Rescue
The rescue reached out to Sarah hoping she could take him and prevent him from being euthanized.
Despite knowing very little about the cat, Sarah immediately said, “Oh absolutely, I’ll take him.”
The cat, later named Chester, was transported straight to Sarah the very next day.
Finally Sarah could take a closer look at Chester. What she witnessed left her shocked.
**Pictures have been modified to cover unsightly injuries**
The Truth Revealed
“Chester had clearly suffered trauma to one of his eyes and it had ruptured,” Sarah recounted.
Chester climbed in Sarah’s lap and rested his head in her arms knowing she was someone he could trust.
Seeing how much Chester had been suffering broke Sarah’s heart.
She was determined to do everything in her power to relieve him of his pain.
She immediately sent photos of Chester’s eye to her vet who confirmed that it would need to be removed as soon as possible.
Just when Sarah felt a glimmer of hope, she was faced with another difficult decision.
Taking the Risk
Chester had been diagnosed with Feline Leukemia, a life-long virus that weakened his immune system.
To make matters worse, he was also anemic, meaning his blood count was low.
This would make surgery a huge risk for poor Chester. There was a chance he would never wake up.
Sarah had to make a decision quickly: should she risk Chester’s life for the surgery he desperately needed?
A Paw-sitive Patient
Sarah knew the surgery was his only chance at survival.
If he didn’t have surgery, he’d need to be euthanized. Either way, his life was on the line.
Two days, Chester was taken to the vet for surgery where had his eye removed and was neutered.
The vet described Chester’s procedure as one of the most painful experiences a cat can have.
But the surgery was a success! Chester was all patched up and ready to go home and recover.
Despite the tremendous amount of pain he was in, Chester persevered.
It was clear he had a strong will to live. He was a true fighter.
“He’s best surgical patient we’ve ever had. He was phenomenal every step of the way,” Sarah recalled.
Once out of surgery, Chester struggled to wake up.
Sarah waited anxiously with fingers crossed hoping her little champion would pull through.
Six hours later, Chester was fully awake. Sarah was incredibly relieved.
It wasn’t long after surgery that Chester started to show promising signs of improvement.
After 3 days, he could lift his head and start acting more like himself.
But this was only the beginning. Chester still needed to adjust to life with one eye.
“Removing an eye causes them to become confused and disoriented. It’s like learning to walk again,” Sarah explained.
Chester was indeed confused. He had to learn everything over again.
But Sarah knew Chester could do anything he set his mind to. She had faith in him from day one.
After a few weeks of recovering and learning, Chester’s incredible personality started to shine through.
Sweet & Snuggly
“He’s the ultimate snuggle cat. He’s not so much into toys and games. He’s really relaxed and chill,” said Sarah.
Chester slept right next to Sarah and her husband each night throughout his recovery journey.
He simply couldn’t get enough snuggle time and attention. He wanted to be close to them and show his love and appreciation.
Despite his laid-back demeanor, Chester isn’t shy when it comes to asking for what he wants!
“If you’re not giving him attention, he’ll gently put his paw on your face. Sometimes he wakes me up at night just to say hi!” Sarah laughed.
It was as if Chester was saying “hey you, love me!”
Even when it was time to remove stitches, Chester was yet again a wonderful patient.
He sat patiently through the discomfort as Sarah doctored his wound.
Chester trusted Sarah with his life. He was grateful for her help and somehow knew she was doing what was best for him.
A Bright Future
“He has such a sweet personality. He’s a total catch,” said Sarah.
Chester will always have feline leukemia, which makes his adoption process a challenge.
“I want him to live a life of luxury because he’s been through so much. He deserves the best,” said Sarah.
However, this disease isn’t a death sentence. Cats with feline leukemia can live a long and fulfilling life under the right conditions.
Chester has been with Sarah for several months waiting for the right forever family will love and appreciate him like the wonderful companion he is.
For now, Chester continues to be fostered by Sarah where she falls more in love with him as he looks up at her with his adorable, permanent wink.
Chester is located in Sherwood, Arkansas. Please share his story in hopes someone will fall in love with him and become his forever family.
About our Hero
Sarah Richardson is one of the few rescuers in Arkansas who volunteers to rescue senior cats and adult cats with severe medical conditions.
Thanks to Sarah and her family, cats like Chester are given a second chance at life.
If you’d like to help by donating food or supplies directly to Sarah directly through her Amazon Wishlist, click here.
If you’d like to donate toward an injured senior cat’s medical costs, click here to learn how you can help.
Be sure to follow Sarah on Instagram and see more of her adorable rescue cats!