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When Paul Russell was helping an 82-year-old relative with Alzheimer’s move, he was in for the shock of his life when her cat crawled out from under the bed.

Russell said. “At first I thought it was a cat that had a blanket on top of it. The next day I went into the creepy old cellar and it was hunkered in a corner.’

​Getting closer he saw the blanket wasn’t a blanket at all, it was a mound of hair and it was moving before realizing ‘My god this is a cat.'”

The 14-year-old cat was brought to the Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center in Pittsburgh. “Our Medical team shaved off the pounds of intertwined fur from her body &, needless to say, this cat is feeling so much better now!” the shelter said in their Facebook post.

Russell and his family ended up adopting the cat, now affectionately named Hidey, along with the relative’s other feline.

Hidey is still adjusting to new life with the family, their other pets, and of course a life without pounds of matted, smelly, overgrown fur, but Russell says that the cat is starting to open up more.

Dan Rossi, CEO of the Animal Rescue League Shelter and the Western PA Humane Society, said that while pet ownership can bring great benefits to the elderly, it’s still important to make sure older relatives and friends are able to care for their pets.

Rossi told People magazine:

“If a family member, friend or neighbor owns a pet, please help them to make sure there is a support system in place if/when mental faculties begin diminishing.

Also, open door shelters such as Animal Rescue League Shelter and the Western PA Humane Society do not turn any animal away if there are no other options for the pet.”

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