By MARY RAINWATER
Just a few months ago, in the height of winter, a local resident discovered a scared and cold adult male feline stuck in an air conditioner unit.
Samson, as he has been named since, spent several January days in the unit struggling so hard to escape that he injured his shoulder and feet and was half frozen in a puddle of freezing water.
By the time he was rescued, he was near death.
Upon finding the orange and white cat, the resident notified Palestine animal control officer Nikki Farrell, who was off duty at the time.
“My brother, Tommy, came to help me get him out, and (fellow animal control officer Terry Garner) and I cleaned him up,” Farrell said.
Samson’s injuries were extensive — he was covered with gashes and open wounds and had an exposed shoulder bone. His leg had been rubbed raw in his attempts to escape. He also was showing signs of frostbite.
“He couldn’t move,” she said. “He had no motor control.”
At first, Samson was taken to the animal shelter, but a desire to ensure the cat’s survival led Farrell to do more. She took him to local veterinarian Dr. Karen Stone in hopes of saving his life.
“I told them I would take care of the expenses,” she said. “I wanted to help him.”
Brenda Beazley, a member of the BARC The Humane Society board, heard Farrell talk about Samson and had the cat’s bill covered by the BARC rescue fund.
After just a day in Dr. Stone’s care, Samson began to show signs of improvement, and three days later, when visited by Farrell, the cat sat up to accept her affection.
“Two weeks later, he was ready to go back to the shelter,” Farrell said. “Myself and several others take turns caring for him on the weekends, helping him to socialize.”
Now, Samson is ready for a loving forever home.
“Samson is the perfect cat,” Farrell said. “He gets along with dogs, other cats and people. He loves to be loved — when you hold him, he puts his (paws) around your neck as if he is giving you a hug.
“Just don’t scratch his belly — he doesn’t like that.”
Samson is estimated to be 5 or 6 years old and has already been neutered.
Anyone interested in adopting Samson or making a donation can contact BARC at 903-729-8074 or visit the shelter, located at 335 Armory Rd. in Palestine, during business hours.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org