“Old Man Heff” was already an elderly cat when Hands of Mercy Cat Sanctuary founder Brenda Wilkinson rescued him, but his finest days were still to come.
Heff would soon learn what it was like to receive head scratching from someone who loved him, in addition to obtaining the essential medical attention to ease his discomfort.
Volunteers discovered Heff outside another rescue before he came to Hands of Mercy, allegedly abandoned by his family.
Heff was bald as a result of a terrible skin problem, and his skin was so oily that volunteers at the first rescue were afraid to handle him.
Regardless, Heff was sweet and demanded to be touched: “He simply wanted everyone to love him,” Wilkinson told The Dodo. “So I carried him home and began adoring him.”
Wilkinson put a drop of her favorite mild, antibacterial cleanser onto a baby wipe and began stroking Heff’s head for the first time on his first night at Hands of Mercy.
“I was scrunching on his head and ears,” Wilkinson explained. “He was simply taking it all in.”
Heff was finally getting the head scratching he craved for the first time since being abandoned. He also made it obvious to Wilkinson that he did not want her to quit.
“When I stopped touching him, he bit me,” Wilkinson explained. “That’s when I noticed he didn’t have any teeth.”
Wilkinson quickly noticed Heff was also dealing with diabetes, which he was diagnosed with shortly after arriving at Hands of Mercy, as well as physical wounds from his past.
“He looked like he’d seen all of the world wars,” Wilkson said.
Heff was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to receive the attention he need. He began receiving insulin injections twice a day to help manage his diabetes, and his skin improved dramatically.
And, while she had intended to assist Heff in finding a loving permanent home once he was well again, Wilkinson quickly realized that he had already found one in her.
Heff can now get as many head rubs as he likes without experiencing any discomfort. And she can tell Wilkinson is delighted when he strokes her senior kitty’s head.
“When I pet him, he leans into me,” Wilkinson added. “He’s really the sweetest cat.”