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Samson’s Story by Amanda Wang Canada

"Look deep into this sweet boy's eyes. These are the sad eyes of a gentle boy who has been let down by humans. This guy, who we lovingly refer to as McScruffins (now Samson), came into our care as a fully intact male. We don't know how long Samson had been living rough on the streets, but we did see him at our back door as far back as 2021. The first photo shows how much smaller he was then, compared to now. At the time, we didn't know if he was male or female.

We hadn't seen much of Samson in the last year. That was, until the last week of March, 2023. Samson started showing up every night around 9:00 p.m. He wouldn't just come into the yard. He'd come right up to our back door and look inside with pitiful eyes. We always knew when he was here because my spayed adult female cat would scream at him through the door. lol.

Samson would always wait for me to bring him out food, run away when I opened the door, and then come right back and eat the moment I went inside. One night, he was waiting outside in the pouring rain. It broke my heart.

We got to the point where Samson would eat about two feet away from me, while I sat on the floor just inside the open door. He let me talk to him softly while he ate. I touched him once, but he spooked and ran away.

At the beginning of April, 2023, we received notice that the housing property management would be checking for rodent activity in the yard and to keep our pets inside until further notice. Not wanting Samson to get hurt, I resolved to trap him and bring him inside. We borrowed a trap from a local rescue and by Good Friday, Samson was safe and sound in our spare bedroom.

Right away, I realized this poor kitty was NOT feral. He didn't show the slightest aggression when he was trapped. He didn't panic, growl, hiss, swat, or bite. When I let him put of the trap, he made a b-line for the nearest hidey hole and stayed there all night.

The next day, I tried interacting with him more. I found that even though he was an intact male stray, as evidenced by the copious deposit of reeking urine on the floor, Samson is a gentle giant. He timidly accepts pets and allows himself to be picked up and handled. He just goes limp, like a dead-weight sack of potatoes. He didn't seek physical contact - he wouldn't come to you, but if you wanted to go to him and give him gentle pets, that was fine with him. I was also able to brush him and wipe him down with pet wipes. A quiet boy, the only times I heard him make a sound were a couple of times, late at night, when he was looking out the window of his room. All he did was give a quiet little "mew". I would tell him, "No. I'm sorry, honey. We're staying inside now," and he would settle down again. The cutest breakthrough was the moment I stretched out my index finger to stroke his forehead. I paused just before contact and waited. A few seconds later, Samson leaned his head into my finger. ❤️

Over the next week and a half, I did everything I could to reunite him with any family who may have lost him. I filed found reports with the city, on PetFBI, and on PawBoost. I made 100 flyers and delivered them to the surrounding neighbours. I posted on social media. All to no avail. No one was missing Samson.

I also took him to the vet to scan for a microchip (nope), clean his ears (they were filthy), verify he was an intact male, determine his age (approx. 3 years old), get him his vaccinations as well as flea and tick medication, a complete checkup, bloodwork, and neuter. It was expensive, but worth it.

I found out that Samson is FIV+ after his bloodwork results came back. I wasn't surprised, as he had several scabbed over wounds on his ears and neck. Having two cats of my own and a son who would need the spare bedroom in a couple weeks when he returned from university, I could not chance keeping him. To make matters even worse, I had just found out that my mother is terminally ill and I needed to rush to be with her in another province, ASAP!

I reached out to local rescues and animal support groups on Facebook. That is how I came into contact with SupportFIV. SupportFIV was extremely supportive and helpful in my quest to find Samson a new home. After a few days, I made an agreement with a local rescue who would take him and look after him until he finds his furever home.

I am so glad I got a chance to help Samson, as I don't think he would have survived long on the streets being as gentle and passive as he is. My deepest wish is that he finds a wonderful home with a loving family who will cherish him and treat him right." 

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