No cat we have encountered has touched our hearts more than the big, grey tabby that earned his name of Hercules. Unlike many of the cats we trap, Hercules found us, wandering into our lives the fall of 2007. Although he was clearly abandoned and uncared for, he approached us with trust and affection. After confirming that he was, indeed homeless, we began preparing him for adoption, getting him medical attention, shots and neutering. We learned that he was infected with the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), but this cannot infect humans and, with proper care, FIV cats can live long, healthy lives. He was a big, friendly tomcat who loved being held and scratched, and we were especially thrilled when we found him a home.
Sadly, before his new guardian came for him, a medical exam revealed that, through what the vet described as probable abuse, his internal organs had been severely damaged. His diaphragm was ruptured and many of his organs were displaced into the chest cavity, making it hard for him to breathe. X-rays also showed he had been shot with a pellet gun and still carried the pellet inside him. We decided to try surgery, but he was so damaged he died at the veterinarian’s office shortly after the operation. Throughout his ordeal, and in spite of the abuse he suffered at the hands of people, Hercules remained a wonderful, loving, heroic animal. He will always be an inspiration to us.