Male feral stray. Estimated age 3 years. That was all that was known about a gray-and-white cat impounded at Riverside County Department of Animal Services’s shelter in Riverside. Oh, and he had a broken tail which the shelter’s vet staff amputated. They also neutered and ear tipped him, figuring he’d go into a working cat program somewhere.
But wait! The story doesn’t end here. The staff discovered during his recovery from the surgeries that he was very friendly, a sweet cat…not feral after all. It was obvious this cat had been someone’s pet, but he didn’t have a microchip or ID tag, and no one came looking for him. Had he been a pet who was allowed outdoors? Had he been abandoned? We’ll never know what his past life had been like, whether he had humans and other cats as playmates or whether he once slept in a cozy warm bed.
Also, during his recovery it became apparent that he’s incontinent. This poor boy needed a rescue group to step up and take him. None did…until Foster Army Animal Rescue learned of him.
First, a name. Bennington was named in honor of Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, who passed away the day before Foster Army rescued him. Bennington is Anglo-Saxon, derived from the Latin name Benedictus meaning blessed. And that he is, to have been rescued by Foster Army.
Next, a vet exam. X-rays determined the cause of the incontinence. Sadly, he had a fractured spine! What with the broken tail and spinal fracture, he likely had been hit by a vehicle or suffered some other traumatic event and couldn’t make it back home, or had been abandoned before or after the injuries.
However, the break was farther up the spine than typically causes incontinence. This discovery presents a ray of hope – though certainly not a guarantee. The incontinence may be caused by nerve damage and if the nerves can regenerate fully, the incontinence could one day be a thing of the past.
Bennington is ready for adoption. He’s considered a ‘special needs’ cat and requires a home with patient, loving humans who either have experience with incontinent cats or who are willing to learn how to care for him. Foster Army will provide instruction. Yes, cats can wear diapers. And they can be taught to eliminate and defecate on a schedule….housetrained, in other words.
Bennington will need to be an indoor cat. He can be outside in a catio, but must not be allowed to run free outdoors. But Bennington is even more special. He walks on a leash! He can stroll his neighborhood with his humans and become the talk of the town!
Twelve Camacho and Kimberlee Powell, co-founders of Foster Army, are fostering Bennington. They report that he is the sweetest, most loving cat who craves human interaction. He follows them everywhere, and comes when he’s called. (Is he a dog in cat’s fur?) He’s a love bug who’s playful and happy in spite of all he’s been through.
The world is just going to have to manage with one less working cat out hunting vermin. Bennington is a survivor. He has other plans.
If you are that special person who wants a special kitty in your life, Bennington may be just the one for you. To learn more about Bennington or where you can meet him, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or complete an adoption application on Foster Army’s website and you will be contacted.
Editor’s note: This article was written by Jean Clement for Foster Army Animal Rescue‘s newsletter, “The Wet Nose News.”