Cotton the cat had a rough life.
The cat had lived most of his life on the streets in South Florida, and he was covered in mites. He also had a bad case of mange. The mange had scabbed over his eyes, and because of that, he wasn’t able to open them.
Thankfully, in September 2016, someone came to save Cotton: Carmen Weinberg, the founder of Animal Friends Project Inc.
A man named Joe found Cotton on the street, and Joe took him home and fed him. The stray cat was clearly starving, and Joe knew he needed help. And so, Joe called Weinberg and told her about Cotton. Weinberg immediately said she would take the cat in.
Weinberg brought the cat home and created a ‘quarantine ward’ for him in her bathroom to keep his mange from spreading to her other foster cats. Weinberg gave Cotton lots of food and water, and she also gave him plenty of antibiotics to treat his mange.
The mange also made Cotton incredibly itchy, and so Weinberg gave him coconut oil and creams to soothe his skin. Cotton was so grateful to have someone looking for him, and he cuddled with Weinberg any chance he got.
“Cats like Cotton depend on people to heal, because they cannot always ask for help … I’m sure so many people passed him by because of how sick he looked, but he was just waiting for someone to give him a chance,” Weinberg told The Dodo.
Finally, after weeks of love and care, Cotton’s mange began to heal. He opened his eyes for the first time, and Weinberg was stunned to see how beautiful they were.
“We thought he was blind, and that he would be blind forever,” Weinberg told Bored Panda. “The vet thought that even when his eyes recovered they might be damaged, but they weren’t. It was such a wonderful surprise. His eyes were just beautiful.”
Once Cotton’s mange had healed, Weinberg introduced him to her other rescue cats. Cotton immediately got along with his new siblings—the cat had a playful personality, and he enjoyed spending time with other cats.
At first, Weinberg planned on adopting out Cotton. But he had bonded with her, and she couldn’t bring herself to let him go.
“We got so many applications for him due to his looks, but in the end, I saw how attached to me he had become,” Weinberg said. “I didn’t have the heart to put him through another big change. He had already been through so much.”
Cotton has now been with Weinberg for almost three years, and the two are as close as ever. Cotton loves spending time with his mom and her foster cats.
Cotton went through a truly incredible transformation after Weinberg took him in! If you want to see more adorable photos of Cotton and Weinberg’s other cats, check out her Instagram page.
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h/t: Bored Panda