Written by Angela Britton from Purrfect Companions of Norfolk
This is Howie. Most of you already know and love Howie. For those of you who don’t, he arrived in PCON’s care in February 2017, in very bad shape, with many injuries, after being hit by a car. A passerby spotted him laying in the middle of the road, blood coming from his face, and went to move him, thinking that he had passed away. As soon as she touched him to pick him up, he started purring.
She quickly brought him to a vet for medical attention, and he was soon transferred to the care of Purrfect Companions. It was discovered his tongue was nearly severed off, and he had several broken teeth from the accident. Thankfully, he recovered very quickly and only needed to be tube fed for a short while before he wanted to eat again on his own!
It was also discovered that Howie had double eye entropion, which would require a second surgery to fix. This meant that his eyelashes were facing the wrong way which made it very painful to open his eyes and very hard for him to see. How he survived outside for so long not being able to see properly was truly a miracle. During this surgery he was also neutered. Once complete, we were finally able to see his big bright eyes for the first time!!
Like a lot of others, I had been following his story on the PCON website for some time. In September 2017, while delivering a food donation to the shelter, I was fortunate enough to finally get to meet “Howie the Office Cat” for the first time in person.
I was shocked he hadn’t been adopted yet since he was so loved and followed by many. I got in lots of cuddles and pets before I headed back home. I also learned that Howie was FIV positive, which might have scared some potential adopters away. However, this story is far from over. I got maybe 5 minutes down the road before I was 1000% sure I needed him in my life and quickly asked if I could foster him, to see if he would get along with my other cats. Having 1 FIV+ cat at the time already, as well as 4 FIV- cats, I knew that Howie being FIV+ would have no effect on my decision to take him home. With proper introduction and care, FIV+ cats can live long, happy, healthy lives, with other FIV+ or FIV- cats. Shortly there after, he was home. Forever.
I officially adopted Howie in December 2017.
In February 2018, Howie had his first fundraising birthday party, to celebrate his 7th birthday, with all funds raised going to help all his fellow shelter kitty furiends, who were also looking for their forever homes,
What a difference 1 year and lots of love can make!
Since then Howie has had a number of other surgeries. He had to have 3 dental surgeries done, within a year, which resulted in all but 3 canine teeth being removed. Some were broken, and the remaining developed stomatitis, a painful condition where the immune system reacts to the plaque accumulation on the teeth, causing the gums to be red and inflamed. During his 2nd dental surgery, it was also discovered that Howie had been shot at some point prior to coming into our care, and a Pellet was also removed from his leg. When Howie underwent his 3rd dental surgery, he also has a small scab removed from his ear, that he had had since his arrival at PCON. We all just thought it must have been a result of frostbite or just a skin tag of some sort. We had it sent for testing and it came back positive for cancer, and even though the vet thought they had got it all, he unfortunately did not, since the area around the scab also had cells that tested positive for cancer. He wanted to remove more of the ear just to be sure it was gone for good. One week after his 8th birthday party, Howie had double ear removal, to hopefully prevent any further spreading of the cancer in his body. When I picked up this sweet boy after surgery, he had the most adorable teddy bear ears I have ever seen! A few days later we got word:
Howie was cancer free!!!
Howie owes his life to PCON and has decided to dedicate his life to raising money and supplies for all his kitty furiends at PCON! Without the love and care of the wonder volunteers and donors, Howie would not have survived.
Howie has started his very own Facebook and Instagram page called Howie the Fundraising Feline, and has now raised over $60,000 in donations and supplies to help the kitties that PCON takes into their care. He is highly motivated by his love of pizza, donuts and french fries, and can easily be bribed! He has quite a large collection of ties and bowties and always makes sure to look his best. He loves to tell his friends stories from his daily adventures, and always finds a way to make people laugh. I am so grateful to have Howie in my life, and that we can bring so much joy and comfort to those who follow us.