When I saw a video of Cauliflower on Instagram, I immediately knew I had to learn more about him! As someone who has lived with severe psoriasis for most of my life, the sight of Cauliflower’s flaky and inflamed skin instantly reminded me of the itchy and painful lesions I’ve dealt with for decades. After discovering the scaly patches that had once covered most of Cauliflower’s ears and face were caused by mange, a condition I had heard of but actually knew very little about, I reached out to his rescuer and foster mom Joana Calafate to learn more about this incredible cat and his remarkable recovery!
Joana, who lives in Miami Beach, Florida, graciously agreed to share Cauliflower’s story with me, and I learned not only about the cause of mange, but also about how easy this condition is to prevent. Additionally, I discovered that despite the suffering Cauliflower had experienced before he was rescued from the streets in November 2023, he’s an extremely sweet and good-natured cat who loves nothing more than eating a tasty snack while having his head rubbed!
We really enjoyed learning about this incredibly resilient cat, and we hope that not only will sharing his story help prevent other cats from experiencing the pain and discomfort Cauliflower endured before he was rescued, but that it will also help this sweet and special boy find the perfect forever home! We hope you’ll find Cauliflower’s story as inspiring as we did, and also that you’ll help him get adopted by sharing it with others!
Meow As Fluff: How did you end up meeting Cauliflower?
Joana: I’m part of a cat community group from South Florida and Cauliflower was posted there.
Since [where Cauliflower was] was out of my way, I waited to see if anyone would offer to help him, but unfortunately, no one did, so I went to the location to try to find him and catch him.
I immediately spotted him in this backyard, but it was hard to trap him at first. Only a couple days after working with the feeder, we were able to secure him.
MAF: What made you decide to rescue Cauliflower?
J: He was defenseless. A couple more days and I knew he was not going to make it.
MAF: Can you tell me a bit about mange and how it affects/affected Cauliflower specifically?
J: Mange affects many animals, including cats. Mange is caused by tiny parasites called mites that bite your pet’s skin and cause itching, flaking, hair loss, and inflammation. In Cauliflower’s case, it was left untreated for way too long. At some point, it will unfortunately kill them if left untreated.
MAF: What are some of the biggest misconceptions you think people have about cats with mange?
J: I think because mange cats look crusty, it scares people right away. But in reality, mange is super easy to treat. If you see initial signs, a dose of Revolution Plus will immediately kill the mites. It’s easy to prevent and to treat it.
MAF: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a result of Cauliflower having mange?
J: In Cauliflower’s case, because the mange was so bad, he had other health issues. He was super dehydrated, so I had to administer fluids and add other vitamins to his diet. He was also extremely underweight and mange cats can’t really control their body temperature, so [I was] making sure he was warm and cozy at all times. His eyes were also an issue because they also got infected and we had to see an eye specialist for the proper care.
MAF: What do you wish more people knew about special cats, particularly cats with mange?
J: I wish people knew that if you treat mange right away on a cat with a single dose of Revolution, this situation like [the one with] Cauliflower can be avoided. It’s easy and affordable to treat a cat with mange. Even if you see [a cat with mange] in the neighborhood, its easy and will help that animal right away.
MAF: What are some of Cauliflower’s favorite activities?
J: He is a pretty calm cat, so a nice afternoon watching the view from a window is his favorite thing! Also, he loves eating and can’t ever be denied a treat!
MAF: Can you tell me the story behind his name?
J: [I named him] Cauliflower because of how he looked when I found him [with his] crusty, white ears! [The name] seemed cute and unique for him, just like many other cats [who] are named after foods or fruits and vegetables!
MAF: Please describe his ideal adopter.
J: He is looking for someone who lives in a calm environment, and who can give him a lot of head rubs!
MAF: What does he mean to you?
J: Cauliflower means the world to me, [just] like every cat I rescue. I’m their second chance and they are always so grateful.
To learn more about this incredible cat, you can follow Cauliflower on Instagram.
If you’re interested in adopting Cauliflower, please contact Joana via Instagram.