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But now Freshfields Animal Rescue, which has been looking after for Mikey for the past 13 months, is hoping to find him a special owner who can look past his surgical scars and give him a forever home.
The six-year-old white and tabby cat was brought into the centre near Ince Blundell in July 2020 by kind pet lovers.
He’d been living rough on the streets in Liverpool and was in a poor state, and when he was checked over by Freshfields’ on-site vets, he was found to have tumours on his ears.
Cats with light-coloured or very short fur can be prone to skin cancer especially if, like Mikey, they don’t have a caring owner to keep them out of the sun or apply sunscreen to vulnerable areas like the tips of their ears or skin around their nose.
In an effort to stop the cancer spreading, Mikey had to have both his ears amputated – and now happily, a year on from his surgery, he is cancer-free and ready to make the most of his second chance.
So far, with more than 50 cats waiting to be rehomed at the centre, Mikey’s unusual look has meant he hasn’t been lucky.
But Freshfields staff, who’ve fallen in love with his big personality, are determined he’ll find his perfect match.
“Mikey is a survivor, he’s got such a great fun character and we think he’s gorgeous but when people see him, because he’s not the traditional picture of a cat, he tends to get overlooked,” says Debbie Hughes at Freshfields.
“We’ve just been through kitten season and most of those have been rehomed now which is lovely but that does mean that the older cats or the ones like Mikey who are a bit quirkier get left waiting because people are drawn to the little cute ones.”
Debbie says the fact that Mikey is even around and looking for a new home is a testament to the teamwork that keeps Freshfields and its animals going.
“It shows what can happen when everyone works together because somebody found him on the streets, they brought him to us, and then obviously our supporters pay for us to cover our vets bills so everyone has a part to play.”
Donations don’t just pay for the day-to-day running of the centre, they also helped to fund an on-site vet room which is where Mikey had his surgery.
“We fund-raised for our treatment room six years ago so our excellent vets can carry out some surgeries on site,” explains Debbie. “That means we’re making the very best use of donations because we’re not having to out-source the treatment and also we can cut down on the stress for the animals.”
Mikey, she says, is a happy chap who hasn’t let his traumatic past affect him.
“He doesn’t let having no outer ears bother him at all. He’s a toughie but he’s got a soft side too, he’s a fun character who loves people and he’s very affectionate. He might take a few sniffs to get to know you but once he’s met you, he’s your mate and he’ll be just after you for Dreamies and cheek rubs!
“He’ll be a brilliant pet for someone who can see past the superficial, so we’ll do our very best for him until we find him the right home.”
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