CHICAGO (FOX 32 NEWS) - Chicago's Anti-Cruelty Society has been investigating cases of animal neglect for more than a century but they have seen anything like this.
Sinbad, an 8-year-old persian cat was found last month, weak, starving, and covered in five pounds of matted hair.
At first glance, Sinbad looks a healthy housecat, but the truth is, this little guy with the cartoon face and those big expressive eyes is quite the medical marvel.
Discovered by a utility worker living in the basement of an elderly man here in chicago back in December, Sinbad was weak, malnourished and weighed down by all that hair -- a whopping five pounds worth.
"He didn't get a lot of attention because of all the matting on his body and carrying five pounds worth of mats so he was not just in a neglective environment but a neglective condition as well,” Elliott Serrano,
education manager at the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society, said.
Covered in his own filth, it took two grooming sessions and sedation, to detangle and cut back Sinbad's hair to more manageable lengths. The next challenge … getting Sinbad to gain some body weight
"We had a volunteer step up who is very good at getting cats to eat, started making a grool, putting it in his mouth and after six days of that he started eating on his own" said Dr. Robyn Barbiers, president of the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society.
Once back on his feet, it was time for Sinbad to be put up for adoption. But something happened while he was being fostered, that special bond between animal and human took hold
"That first weekend when I took him home when he just wanted to lay on my chest and purr and chirp and be with me.” Serrano said. “That convinced me that he wanted to stay"
Sinbad's story has a happy ending but it wouldn't have been possible if not for that utility worker who found him in distress and did something about it
"We would never have known if somebody hadn't cared enough to see an animal in need, take a photo, get it to us so that our investigators could go out and rescue this cat," Serrano said.