For a year and a half, a cat named Russell has been giving people hope at North Carolina's Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care clinic. In January 2014, Russell survived a catastrophic house fire, which destroyed his family's home and took the life of their pet dog. Not only did the cat suffer from second and third degree burns, he was also severely dehydrated and developed fatty liver syndrome from not eating for four days. Even though it seemed as if Russell would not survive, he quickly proved otherwise.
While he has been recovering, the friendly feline spends time snuggling up to fellow animals that are undergoing their own treatments at the clinic. A baby deer named Darla arrived this week after being found without her mother on someone's lawn and Russell immediately fell in love with his new friend. The adorable pet has also kept several dogs company in the wake of terrible accidents and injuries, making sure that they have someone to snuggle with. “He wants to be friends with every animal,” said vet tech Megan Maus to The Huffington Post. “He's a very inquisitive cat. A very loving little cat.”
After a couple dozen surgeries and treatments, Russell has not completely healed and his house is not rebuilt yet either. But thanks to generous donations through the hospital's Good Samaritan Fund, the cat's medical bills are covered and he is welcome to stick around. In the clinic's waiting room, Russell sits with people who are having a bad day, providing them with comfort as he himself gets better. “He helps give them some hope,” explained Maus. “Him being such a little cat of perseverance.”