By Kathleen MacKinnon

Neglect and Utter Despair

SPCA volunteers see many cases of animal neglect and abuse. Even so, we were not prepared for what we would find after receiving a call about six neglected Persians. The initial impression was one of
utter despair.

SPCA received a voice mail message about the saga of the six purebred Persian felines. An elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease was the owner of the Persians. She had at one time bred these highly in demand cats, but in her condition she could no longer provide the care they needed. The woman’s cousin stepped in to aid these desolate creatures and believed them to be between two and five years of age. The cousin described the cats as “dirty” and she pleaded for assistance. She had nowhere else to turn.

Assessing Their Condition

The SPCA of Northern Virginia tries to help in desperate situations such as this and, thus, made a promise to help the Persians find new homes. The six kitties were taken to a local veterinary hospital for exams and overdue vaccinations. It was determined that the cats were, on the average, ten years of age. Their “dirty” appearance was an understatement.

Persians require a regular grooming routine because of their long-haired coats. After more investigation, and with the opinion of the veterinarian, it was discovered that these cats had been neglected for at least three years. The Persians had been confined to two small rooms in a basement. Although they had been provided with food and water to sustain them, no other care had been given during the time of their confinement. Feces and urine were amassed in their living area. The once elegant Persian’s coats displayed their squalor. It was necessary to have them all shaved.

At the veterinary hospital, William, Harry, Catherine, Andrew, Charles, and Elizabeth were given feline Leukemia/AIDS tests, blood work  and vaccinations. Gratefully, they all have tested  negative for feline diseases and their blood work showed no signs of  thyroid, liver, or kidney problems. A few of them are feisty and extremely happy to be on their way to enjoying new lives. Understandably, some of these precious felines are suffering from depression and stress. Their lives have been upturned and they will need a little time to comprehend that they have been given a second chance at lives filled with love and caring.

A Happy Ending

We are happy to report that Elizabeth has already begun her new life. One of the veterinarians who helped care for Elizabeth, Dr. Heather Kirchart, has decided to adopt Elizabeth, giving her a home along with her two Pugs. The remaining cats will soon receive much needed dental care and neutering. They are all making great strides recovering from the three neglectful years they have suffered.

If you would like to bring one of these lovely Persians into your home as either a foster cat or as a new member of your family, please contact us at 703-799-9390 or by e-mail  They all deserve your love.

Charles is in horrendous shape just after being rescued.
Catherine’s condition is better, but she is very scared.
Andrew feels so much better after getting shaved.