Panda the cat would have suffered a brutal death in the jaws of a trash compactor if not for an eagle-eyed can collector who spotted the handsome tuxedo among the trash.
The little guy was literally double-bagged in a blue plastic bag and a larger trash bag, then thrown in a dumpster in the Bronx. There were holes in the inner bag where Panda had tried to claw his way out — and bits of plastic bag caught on his claws — but he had been unable to free himself.
Thankfully, someone looking for cans to recycle opened the outer bag, saw Panda and called 911. NYPD cops brought Panda to the ASPCA Animal Recovery Center in Manhattan, where staff began treating him for malnutrition, skin disease and a “minor gastrointestinal infection,” the Daily News reported.
Despite all he’d been through — the neglect, abandonment and trauma of being tossed out like a piece of garbage — Panda was “sweet and social” with his rescuers.
They placed him in a foster home under the care of 22-year-old Abigail Jasak, who decided to keep him after he quickly made himself at home and won over Jasak and her roommates.
“Initially I had no intention of adopting him,” Jasak told the Daily News. ”Then I realized how comfortable he was around us. He already believed he was home.”
Jasak told the paper she was disturbed by the casual cruelty of tossing a cat in the garbage.
“There are other options,” said the Pace University student. ” You can bring it to a shelter. I truly cannot comprehend how someone threw away such a sweet cat.”
Big Buddy’s note: I’ve been to the ASPCA’s Upper East Side facility and visited in 0 B.B. (Before Bud, aka 2014) while I was looking to adopt. It’s a beautiful, incredibly clean, bright facility where each animal has significantly more space than they would in a normal shelter, and the staff are friendly and helpful. As awful as Panda’s situation was, I’m glad they were able to help him and pair him with a human who really cares for the little guy.