Daniel stared out from his crate. Ten cats, including Daniel, had just arrived at Palmetto Animal League - just a fraction of the number of cats rescued from a home in Orangeburg.
Daniel was found living with 64 other cats under very poor conditions. It took a statewide effort to make sure each cat was cared for, and Daniel was in desperate need. Our veterinary staff at the Palmetto Animal League Community Clinic received pictures of Daniel prior to his arrival to help prepare us for the severity of his medical issues.
After the crates were brought in one by one, we approached Daniel with caution, as some cats deprived of human interaction can act out aggressively. Daniel was not one of those cats.
When we slowly opened Daniel's crate, he instantly began purring as he weaved his way among us. We were surprised by his calm and loving demeanor, but we were absolutely shocked by his physical condition. The photos had not prepared us.
Our veterinarians were especially concerned about a large open wound covering Daniel's entire neck. His dry skin was crawling with fleas, and one of Daniel's eyes was injured, making it impossible for him to fully open it.
Moreover, Daniel was anemic, severely underweight and in the early stages of kidney failure. Despite his circumstances, he was in good spirits and quick to purr.
Daniel just wanted to be loved, and we were happy to oblige. We immediately started treating Daniel at PAL's Community Clinic, and his condition has been steadily improving.
As he continues to recover, Daniel is living in a loving foster home, where he enjoys long naps on the couch.
My heart swells for Daniel. He makes me laugh when he gives my arm a nudge. He makes me smile when he spreads his toes in that relaxed, blissful way cats do.
On the other hand, I'm sad when he shivers after receiving much-needed fluids. I hold him to keep him warm and listen to his purr.
But the strongest emotion Daniel brings about in me is hope. Despite his painful ordeal, Daniel is always purring, happy beyond words.
Daniel came to PAL as one of 65 cats. But to me, he is one in a million.
When you bring your pet to the Palmetto Animal League Community Clinic, proceeds from your fees help us rescue abandoned, abused and neglected pets like Daniel.
Schedule your pet's next appointment by calling 843-645-1727 or visit www.PalmettoAnimalLeague.org for more information.
June Levin is an assistant veterinary technician at the Palmetto Animal League Community Clinic in Okatie.