An Arkansas resident became concerned when she noticed a sick cat wandering around in unusual places.
What started as a routine rescue and recovery quickly turned into a medical mystery.
Read on to find out how a mysterious rescue turned into a life-saving mission with the help of local heroes!
A concerned resident found Mia. in the woods near a lake. May and took her to a local shelter.
The resident brought her to the shelter, where staff recalled that she was “a little wild.”
So the shelter sought help from Sarah Richardson, a community cat foster and cat rescuer in central Arkansas.
She was hiding under a pillow at the shelter. She wouldn’t come out and didn’t want any contact with humans or cats,” Sarah recalls.
After Mia arrived at Sarah’s house, Sarah realized something was terribly wrong.
Although Mia was estimated to be about three to five years old, Sarah says Mia was “very small” and “didn’t want to eat at all.”
In addition to being severely malnourished and dehydrated, Mia Mae was infected with parasites.
We gave her fluids and treated her for parasites. She had severe flea dermatitis and was losing her hair,” Sarah said.
Despite Sarah’s attentive care, Mia continued to refuse to eat, which caused her growing concern.
It wasn’t until Sarah took Mia May to the vet to be spayed that the vet realized what was wrong.
‘I took her to the vet to make sure she was spayed,’ Sarah explains.
She was not spayed. Once she was spayed, we found out she had a disease called cystic fibrosis,” Sarah says.
Cystic fibrosis is a painful and life-threatening infection of the uterus that can lead to death if left untreated.
Valuable lessons learned
Spaying and neutering cats can easily prevent cysticercosis.
Veterinarians say cysticercosis is a very lucky disease. I’m lucky to have survived this long with the infection in my body,” says Sarah.
Sarah emphasizes that this is one of the many reasons why people should spay and neuter their pets.
Spaying and neutering isn’t just about population control. It’s also the best protection for your cat’s health. In many cases, neutering can save their lives,” Sarah explains.
The brand new Mia Mae.
The vet spayed Mia and prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection.
Mia started eating a little more, consuming five cans of food a day!
She is a shelter cat, but she is very crybaby. She only likes Fancy Feast and tuna! We tried all kinds of food, but that’s all she would eat.
Now that Mia is finally pain free, she loves to play with her foster family and nap on their laps.
Since she’s healed, we’ve seen a whole new Mia. She is a total lap cat.
Model Mia. May.
Sarah’s three children helped Sarah name her shelter cat.
They gave Mia May a cute name that fits her personality perfectly.
She loves her name too. She meows when I call her name! And Sarah.” She’s so cute.
Sarah realized that Mia Mae was not a stray.
Her initial trepidation and fear was because she was in severe pain.
Initially the shelter said she was a little wild. She wasn’t, she was just unwell. Now she’s happy,” says Sarah.
As a healthy indoor cat, Mia. May has a unique hobby to celebrate her new life: playing dress-up!
Sometimes she’s more interested in playing with clothes than getting dressed.
Mia. May likes to pose for the camera wearing a small wide-brimmed hat and playing with tassels.
‘I love wearing beanies, especially when I’m getting attention for wearing them,’ Sarah mumbles.
Mia. May’s beauty shines through in her healthy new look.
She got the wait she needed to re-coat herself in soft, long fur.
Her gentle, high-pitched purr is like a bell.
She is very talkative and loves to share her love and gratitude with her foster family.
Soon, Mia. May will have her forever home.
I think she was someone’s cat before she was adopted. I posted her as a ‘found cat’ on a couple of Facebook groups, but no one took her in,” Sarah said.
No one knows how sweet Mia. May was placed in such a terrible situation, but Sarah was sure that a suitable and cozy home would be found for Mia.
Until then, Sarah and her family hope that Mia. May gets the love and care she deserves!
Meet the Heroes
Sarah Richardson is one of the few people in Arkansas who rescues seriously ill adult and senior cats.
Sarah is known for taking in cats that other rescues refuse to take.
She is dedicated to giving second chances to cats who have no other choice.
Without Sarah and her family, many cats like Mia May could have met a tragic fate.
Instead, the cats Sarah takes in thrive in loving homes and live new lives of their own!
Sarah is completely self-funded.
Treatment for seriously ill adult and senior cats is often very expensive and requires veterinary help.