Here's a heartwarming story of a cross-border animal rescue that'll brighten your weekend. A rescued Iranian cat called Maloos has finally found a home in Napa, Calif., Bay City News Service reports on Patch.com.
The tabby-and-white cat, whose name means "very cute" in Farsi, was found injured on the streets of Tehran, the capital of Iran. According to the San Francisco Weekly, the cat was stuck to the pavement and soaked in mud and gasoline, covered with abscesses and shot in the face with a pellet. He had deformed hind legs and spine problems, rendering him immobile.
The cat was initially rescued by an animal care group called the Sayeh Animal Guardians but later flown to San Francisco for care by SF Animal Care and Control. His hind leg had been amputated by Iranian veterinary staff because of a surgical mistake.
Despite the injuries and amputations, Maloos quickly won over staff at the animal care agency. "He’s so resourceful and able to propel himself," Rebecca Katz, Animal Care and Control (ACC) spokesman told CBS News. "He’s obviously done that for a couple of years now."
According to Bay City News, Bay Area residents who heard about the cat's plight via local media began donating money for his care, allowing the shelter to provide for him without having to use taxpayer money.
After being deluged by adoption requests, the ACC held a lottery for Maloos last week. The winner was Napa resident Laila Aghale, who, serendipitously, is of Iranian descent.
After hearing about the cat, she decided she had to go meet him, and felt an instant connection. When she found out she'd won the lottery she "almost cried." "I've never won a lottery of my life," she told Bay City News.
Aghale, who spent part of her childhood in Iran, had once adopted a kitten from a Tehran animal shelter. She saw Maloos as a connection to her Middle Eastern heritage.
Despite multiple surgeries and being fitted with a "wheelchair" for mobility, Aghale said that Maloos has been moving around adroitly without his wheels. He's also "unusually friendly and not afraid of people."
"Yes, he's just one cat," she told Bay City News, "but he has this huge story that seems to resonate with people. There are so many dark stories about Iran.. that this just gives everyone a little brightness."