Brenda Wilkinson of Hands of Mercy Cat Sanctuary knew T’Challa was in bad condition when she found him barely alive after being abandoned in someone’s yard.
But she didn’t notice his strange quirk of rolling up into a tight ball like a roly-poly bug until she got him home.
The black cat was starving and thirsty but couldn’t stand or eat on its own. T’Challa was so weak that he had to be spoon-fed and given medicine.
When Wilkinson would do this, the cat would tuck his head in and curl up into a ball with his feet over his head.
Wilkinson described it as being like “one of those little silver bugs that curl up into a little ball.” The black cat would do this every time Wilkinson would hold him.
And T’Challa wanted to be held a lot. All this little silver love bug wanted to do was to be snuggled and loved on. Wilkinson took T’Challa for lots of testing.
But doctors couldn’t tell her if anything was wrong with him or if he was just a quirky cat. Vets suspected that it might be a neurological condition. They didn’t know which one or how he got it.
They were, however, able to determine that it was something that T’Challa would be able to live with.
With some TLC from Wilkinson, T’Challa was able to regain most of his balance and learn how to eat by himself.
Wilkinson was overjoyed by how far T’Challa had come. And now that T’Challa was healthier, it was time to find him a forever home. Wilkinson wrote on Facebook.
“He was literally at death’s door the night I found him. He was extremely neurological, almost blind, dehydrated, and emaciated.
I did not expect him to survive. Since then he has more than doubled in weight and is very precious to me. His personality has blossomed.
He still has some balance issues and his vision is not perfect, but he is not special needs. Just needs to be protected and kept safe.”
But things didn’t go exactly as planned, T’Challa stopped eating and completely shut down after he was taken to the adoption center. So, Wilkinson brought him back to her rescue. She explained, to The Dodo:
“When he got here, he just laid on the bed like, ‘I’m home now!’”
T’Challa pretty much immediately got back to being his normal self once he got home and T’Challa is still in Wilkinson’s care today. Wilkinson shares:
“He knows he’s home and that he’s not going anywhere, he’s a miracle.”
Wilkinson says that her little mini panther will be happy in her home forever.