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Iranian Cat Finds Purr-litical Asylum in California

An international rescue effort has brought a feline refugee to San Francisco for medical care and a loving forever home.

 |  May 3rd 2012  |   3 Contributions


Maloos was in a bad way when a member of the Sayeh Animal Guardians in Tehran found him. Covered in mud and gasoline and riddled with wounds and abscesses, the little marmalade cat couldn't even move.

It appeared that he had a congenital deformity that forced him to move around by dragging his rear along the ground. Sarah swept him up and took him to a vet, who tried to repair a part of the cat's malformed leg. Unfortunately, the surgical site became infected and the leg had to be amputated.

Maloos when he was first found in Tehran. Photo courtesy of SFACC

The folks at Sayeh Animal Guardians knew that given the fact that even the most basic vet care is hard to come by in Iran, there was no way the cat, now named Maloos -- which means "very cute" in Persian -- could get the special care he'd need in order to recover. So they called San Francisco Animal Care & Control (SF/ACC) for help.

On April 15, the little guy arrived in San Francisco in the care of a passenger. Now he's under the care of the vets and staff at SF/ACC and is making a great recovery. If you look at the photos, you'd hardly believe this is the same cat Sarah found at the end of his last life on the streets of Tehran. In a KCBS-TV news video, you can see him hopping around a room in the shelter and playing with a teaser toy, almost as if nothing had ever happened to him.

When Maloos was first brought to San Francisco, vets thought he might need a kitty wheelchair -- and they still think he might, because he drags his remaining hind leg. But in that news video he looked like he was moving around pretty darn well, so I think he may just be able to make it as a tripod.

Maloos now. Photo by David W. Oliver via SFACC's Facebook page

Although it's not the habit of SF/ACC to fly injured cats halfway around the world, when the folks there heard his story, they couldn't say no. “Maloos is an extreme special medical needs cat that touched the hearts of shelter staff," the Friends of San Francisco Animal Care & Control wrote. "His hard life and long journey inspired them to do what they could for this extraordinary cat."

Maloos has touched my heart, too, and I haven't even seen the little guy in person. I hope he'll find a wonderful, loving home where he'll never have to worry about shrapnel, gunfire, and explosions ever again. 

Like any city-run facility, SF/ACC is chronically short of funds, particularly in this economy when owner surrenders are at an all-time high and many of those surrenders are animals with special needs. The Friends of SF/ACC are raising funds to help with Maloos's ongoing care -- and enhanced care for the other special-needs animals in the shelter's custody. If you want to find out how you can help, visit Friends of SF/ACC's website.

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