After losing their beloved 15-year-old Burmese cat Horatio, Silke and her husband were looking online for a new feline friend when she came across a Facebook post about an Arabian Mau kitten who had lost all of his teeth and part of his mouth due to injuries he sustained while living on the streets of Dubai. “I saw [his] profile and immediately fell in love with his cute little face,” remembers Silke.
As Silke read the post by Wüstentiere – Katzen aus den Emiraten suchen ein Zuhause, a German Facebook group dedicated to helping cats from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) find forever homes, she learned the adorable feline was just a few months old when a woman discovered him in a parking lot in late 2020.
“She found him extremely malnourished and in terrible condition,” says Silke. “His entire mouth was infected and his breath smelled so bad and foul that she and her husband had to open all the windows in their car when they took him to the vet.”
A veterinary examination revealed the kitten was approximately four months old, and his mouth and jaw were severely injured and badly infected. While the vet was unable to determine the exact cause of the young feline’s injuries, they suspected he may have bitten into a power cable.
“The vet thought he wouldn’t have a chance at survival because his infection was that severe,” explains Silke, “but he survived after they removed all of his teeth and part of his mouth fell off while he was there.”
With the help of excellent medical care, the kitten was eventually healthy enough to be adopted, and Silke and her husband’s application was approved! On March 3, 2021, the tabby and white feline traveled to his forever home in Frankfurt, Germany, and his parents gave him a new name to go with his fresh start.
“I chose the name Ethan because one of my favorite fictional movie characters is Ethan Hunt from the Mission Impossible movies,” explains Silke, “And because Ethan is originally from Dubai and one of the Mission Impossible movies was shot in Dubai, I thought it was more than fitting to give him that name.”
Ethan quickly adjusted to his new life in Germany, and it didn’t take long for him to bond with his mom and dad. A year later, this handsome boy is doing extremely well, although because he’s missing all of his teeth and part of his mouth, eating can sometimes be an issue.
“Only the dry food is a bit of a challenge because it keeps falling out of his mouth all the time,” says Silke. “But he just continues eating until he has everything ‘scooped off’ his plate.”
Aside from this relatively minor impediment, Ethan is a typical cat who loves playing, cuddling, and bird watching. “Some of Ethan’s favorite activities include watching birds and squirrels outside our house from one of his four window seats,” says Silke, “as well as his daily playtime with my husband and me and watching animal documentaries on Netflix.”
Despite the severe trauma he experienced as a kitten, Ethan really isn’t all that different from the average feline, proving just how resilient cats can be. In fact, the only thing he’s afraid of is the sound of plastic bags! “I think cats are incredibly adaptable and always find a way to deal with the challenges that are thrown their way,” says Silke.
By sharing Ethan’s story, Silke hopes more people will consider opening their homes to special cats like this remarkable boy. “They are just as lovable as any other cat and they deserve to live their lives as much as anyone else,” says Silke.
While Silke and her husband didn’t go looking for a unique feline like Ethan, they’re so glad they found him. After all, not only is Ethan a wonderful companion, his irrepressible spirit and tenacity makes him an inspiration to both of his parents.
“Ethan means everything to me and helped me a lot to cope with the death of our Horatio,” says Silke. “Just looking at him and seeing how far he has come, that he survived his time alone on the streets and that he’s such a tough little kitten, makes my heart swell with so much happiness every single time.”
To learn more about this adorable cat, you can follow Ethan on Instagram.