Earlier this year, a person out collecting rubbish on the streets in the Bronx saw something moving in a trash bag and went to investigate.
To their horror, they found a cat inside two plastic bags struggling to get free, there were claw marks in the bags so thankfully he could breathe a little.
How much longer he would have survived can’t be known. Thankfully we never have to know because he was cut free and brought to the ASPCA’s Animal Recovery Center (ARC) in New York to be looked after. He was named Panda for his black and white markings.
Assessing the situation
The fact that Panda was tied in the trash bags suggests he was intentionally put there. Cats can get up to all sorts of mischief, but tying themselves into a sealed bag seems unlikely.
The vets at the ARC put Panda’s age at around two years old. He was underweight, had a skin disease, and “his claws were frayed and had pieces of plastic stuck to them from trying to escape.”
Despite the horrible ordeal he had been through, he was a friendly, easy-going cat who didn’t seem to mind being poked and prodded by vet staff.
As Dr. Aubrey Crowley, Medical Supervisor at ARC explained:
“Panda was sweet and social and allowed the medical team to examine him, give him vaccines and draw bloodwork”
Time for a forever home
After a few weeks of close monitoring and care by ARC staff, Panda’s weight had gone up, his skin issue cleared, and he was ready to be fostered and eventually adopted!
Although foster mom Abigail only planned on fostering Panda at first, she ended up falling in love and adopting him.
Abigail had fostered two cats with the ASPCA previously, so she knew that her attachment to Panda was different early on.
As Panda became more comfortable in Abigail’s home, he became more affectionate and playful. Soon he was by her side all the time, and she couldn’t bear to live without him. She expanded on the bond between them, saying:
“He’s never more than three steps behind me at all times. And I’ve gained a personal shoe warmer because he loves to take naps on my shoes.”