Blind feral stray cat transforms into ‘friendliest’ pet after hard life outdoors

An old tabby cat with scarred eyes
Photo by Melissa Fiore

A blind feral stray cat named Floyd Mayweather is a survivor who lived the last ten years of his life on New Jersey’s streets.

He is tough—as an animal should be when he’s a stray—and has evidently been in many fights. Just by looking at his face, one would see the battle scars he got from years of defending himself from other strays.

But Floyd’s life is looking very different now after he found a forever family who accepted him and embraced all his flaws.

The feral cat was about 10 to 12 years old when staff from the nonprofit Neighborhood Cats worked on a TNR—or a trap-neuter-return program—on a colony of community cats in Jersey City, New Jersey, last spring.

That’s when Jade Vazquez, TNR director for the nonprofit’s branch in Jersey City, first spotted the old tabby. He was walking between two buildings, and Vazquez noticed something odd: it appeared as if he was leaning on the wall for guidance.

“I thought, ‘There’s something wrong with the cat,'” she told TODAY. “I’ve been doing this long enough to know that there’s something not quite right.”

An old tabby inside a trap
Photo by Jade Vasquez

The following day, Vazquez set up a trap on the sidewalk to lure the cat in. The cat approached the cage and began crying – another sign that there was something wrong.

“It’s unusual for a feral cat to cry. They don’t like to bring attention to themselves, but if they’re in pain or a bit of distress, they will cry,” she said. “He actually walked straight into a lamppost and stunned himself.”

Vazquez then moved the trap closer and added another chunk of fresh tuna to make the scent stronger. Still, the feral cat missed it, and he walked straight past the door of the trap. She repositioned it so that the only direction he could go was straight in. Finally, he made it inside and started munching on the fish.

Vazquez covered the trap with a blanket to help the newly captured cat calm down. She brought him to the holding area, where she got a closer look at him. She found out he was blind; both of his corneas had horrible scars that he probably got from fighting.

An old tabby lying on a bed
Photo by Melissa Fiore

After community cats are trapped and neutered, they’re usually returned to the location they were found. Typically, some people leave out food and water for them.

Besides, most adult stray cats wouldn’t adjust well to living in a home. For the past years, TNR has become the better alternative to euthanasia.

However, Vazquez and her team thought that letting Floyd live on the streets again wouldn’t be the best move. He was blind and old, and he may not survive on his own anymore. So, the cat—then called Pickles—went to live with Vazquez for five weeks while receiving medical treatment.

Neighborhood Cats also put out a call for Pickles’ adoption.

Two old tabby cats resting beside each other
Photo by Melissa Fiore

As she got to know him, Vazquez admits she was surprised by the cat’s true personality.

“I thought he was going to be a really mean cat because he was a big boy,” she said. “But because he couldn’t see, once you touched him, he would let you pet him. If you rushed in and grabbed him, then he was on the defensive. He was ready to bite. But he turned out to be a nice cat.”

Melissa Fiore, 45, wasn’t looking to get another cat because she had already adopted three rescues. But when she heard about Pickles, she knew she “just had to adopt him.”

Fiore then gave him the name Floyd Mayweather, and about a month after he arrived, he became best friends with his mom’s other old cat, Sugar Ray Leonard.

Two tabby cats lying on a wooden floor
Photo by Melissa Fiore

Floyd is enjoying his new home and adores his mom. He has also gained six pounds and gets along really well with Googles and Lily, his owner’s other rescue cats.

“He loves to be brushed, enjoys being petted while he eats and is figuring out how to navigate his brand-new cat tree,” Neighborhood Cats wrote in a post announcing Floyd’s adoption.

Fiore is just glad to see all her pets bond and is amazed that a cat who lived a rough life on the streets for such a long time is the gentlest cat she’s ever met.

“He is the friendliest cat in the house,” she described. “He’s my best friend.”

We’re so happy that Floyd Mayweather found his forever home! You can help Neighborhood Cats provide food, shelter, and medical care to more cats in need by making a donation.

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