Elliott Serrano, a Community Programs Manager for The Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago, was at work when his boss brought Sinbad, a Persian cat who had recently been taken in by the animal shelter, into the office as a foster pet. “He had been brought in to the shelter after being surrendered by an elderly gentleman who couldn’t take care of him,” explains Elliott.
Persian cats like Sinbad require regular grooming, which his former owner had been unable to handle, so when he was discovered living in the man’s basement in late 2017, he was in bad shape.
“He was incredibly matted and dragging over five pounds of matted fur behind him,” says Elliott. “When he came into our office, he had just been shaved of a good amount of the mats, but he needed more grooming.”
In addition to being unkempt, Sinbad — who was born in 2008 — was underweight, and Elliott believes he may have stopped eating because of the stress and discomfort caused by the neglect he’d endured. “He needed to be groomed, cleaned up, then force fed to make sure he wouldn’t stop eating,” remembers Elliott. “He also had blood work done to make sure his kidneys and liver were still functioning properly.”
Fortunately, Sinbad’s organs were working well, and his appetite eventually returned, allowing him to go live with Elliott as a foster cat. However, within a matter of days, Elliott fell in love with this handsome Persian boy, and he adopted Sinbad soon after the holidays.
At first, Elliott considered giving Sinbad a new name to go with his new life, free from the five pounds of matted fur that had weighed him down both literally and figuratively, but he ultimately decided against it. “When I look at his face, the name Sinbad just fits him so perfectly,” says Elliott.
It’s been nearly a year since Elliott adopted Sinbad, and this adorable cat — who will turn 10 this December — is thriving in his new home, far from the basement where he was found last year. “Sinbad just loves sunbathing,” says Elliott. “He’ll often lie on my kitchen table soaking in the sunshine.” Sinbad also enjoys racing from one end of the house to other, which his dad finds endlessly entertaining.
While Sinbad had a very difficult life before he was rescued in late 2017, this energetic cat has rebounded quite well, proving how resilient animals can be when they’re given the care and attention they need. “Abused and neglected cats especially seem to want our love and affection,” says Sinbad.
Elliott is determined to make sure Sinbad knows just how loved he is, which is why he regularly grooms his coat so that this handsome Persian never ends up anywhere near the state in which he was found. “His coat is very high maintenance and I have to stay on top of it or he gets matts very easily,” explains Elliott.
After seeing how overwhelmed Sinbad’s former owner got by this fluffy feline’s grooming needs, Elliott hopes other people will take maintenance time and cost into consideration before adopting a Persian cat. “Why anyone would give a senior a Persian cat is beyond me!” says Elliott. “They’re so much work! And grooming appointments aren’t cheap!”
Thankfully, Elliott is able to provide Sinbad with the care he needs, and while people often think this exotic cat looks irritable, his dad is certain that he’s very content in his new home. “I know his expressions appear to be grumpy, but he’s a very happy cat!” says Elliott.
After all, Sinbad has a lot to be cheerful about, having gone from a dark basement where he was neglected to a sunny home where he gets all the love and attention he could ever want.
Without a doubt, Sinbad’s life has changed for the better, but it’s Elliott who considers himself lucky to be able to share his home with this remarkable cat. “He means the world to me,” says Elliott. “Quite frankly, he came along during a time in my life when I really needed some sunshine. Sinbad is that for me.”
To learn more about this handsome cat, you can follow Sinbad on Instagram.