The animal, sick, was rescued by a Dijon association after the hospitalization of its owner. He was covered with a thick layer of hard, dead hair that made it difficult for him to stand up and wash himself.
“I’ve been in animal protection for thirteen years and I’ve never seen this.” Stéphanie Chevalier still can’t believe it. Alerted by a volunteer from the Chat Libre Dijonnais association, of which she is the president, she entered a rare unsanitary apartment in Dijon on May 4 to rescue a cat in very bad shape, she explains to BFMTV .com, expanding on a story published by The public good.
The tenant of the premises, hospitalized five days earlier, had asked for someone to come and feed his animal. But the volunteers did not expect to find him in such a bad state: victim of a kidney infection, overweight and dehydrated, the feline was also surmounted by a “shell” of dead, dry and dirty hair. preventing it from moving.
“Trash up to your knees”
“To get in, I had to kick the door hard because it was blocked by rubbish. When we were inside, we had rubbish up to our knees, it was so noisy when we walked that we couldn’t hear each other speak,” says Stéphanie Chevalier.
“And the smell! It was unbearable, I still have it in my nose five days later,” she recalls.
The president of the association and the two volunteers wonder how a cat can live there, but looks for it “by noise”. “We called him and he mewed. (…) I found him under an armchair where he was taking refuge, prostrate”. The cat, which can no longer stand up or lick itself, has no access to any water or food. Only “moldy cold cuts” lay nearby.
When Stéphanie Chevalier begins to handle the animal, she realizes that its coat is too thick for it to be placed in a conventional cage. Volunteers must therefore use a containment cage, which is more spacious and usually reserved for struggling cats.
The next day, the feline is taken to the veterinarian who lists his health problems: dehydration, obesity, constipation, a kidney that no longer works and the other who suffers from an acute infection, “pyelonephritis”. The doctor also frees the cat from its coat. The “shell” weighs one kilo.
“Cat hair is extremely light, it’s like a feather. So one kilo, you can imagine!”, argues Stéphanie Chevalier.
The cat was able to be partly treated before being collected from the president of the association. But he is back in vet care at the time of writing, blamed on a worsening kidney infection that caused him fever and vomiting. “It’s a cat that will have a fairly low life expectancy, we must not hide our faces”, regrets the volunteer.
“I’m going to file a complaint so that this gentleman can never have animals again,” she announces.
“If I don’t, no one will be interested in this gentleman’s story.” Whether he is sick or not, we cannot let a cat live in unsanitary conditions and be mistreated like that”, she still believes. If the procedure is successful, it could therefore be up to the courts to decide, as the Penal Code allows it, on the tenant’s right to own an animal.