Poor Jarvis was starving, thirsty and confused when he was found locked inside a cupboard in an abandoned flat.
He had already gone at least three days without any food or water after being left behind by his previous owners.
Thankfully, the landlord found the Burmese-cross behind a pile of clothes while clearing out the property, and alerted our nearby centre in Torbay, Devon.
Had Jarvis not been found there and then, the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.
Jo Dempsey, Animal Welfare Assistant there, said: “The landlord said the tenants had left the property about three days before Jarvis was found. He was very thin, and we had to give him small meals four times a day to bulk him out a bit without him eating too much and getting poorly.
“But considering what he went through, Jarvis was the loveliest boy and just wanted attention and company.”
Therefore, it didn’t take the young cat, then aged between seven and 10 months old, long to find a loving family.
And after 10 days recuperating in our care, he went to live with Amy and Lionel Cassidy and their two daughters, Gracie, four, and Bella, who is 18-months-old. He was an instant hit with the children.
Amy said: “He settled in pretty quickly. We were worried about whether he would take to the girls, but I think he took to the girls more than us when we got him. He’s really patient with Bella, he must know she’s a baby.”
Jarvis snoozes for much of the day but springs in to life for playtime when Gracie arrives home from school, where she often draws pictures of her beloved pet.
He was still very thin when he arrived home with the family and was – quite understandably – scavenging for food following his horrific ordeal.
Amy said: “We couldn’t’ believe what had happened to him. Not that it should happen to any cat, but he’s so lovely it was such a shock.”
A family completed
But now Jarvis is a healthy weight and has put the demons of his past behind him.
And for Amy and Lionel, who lost their previous cat, Stitch, in an accident several years ago, the affectionate cat has made their house a home again.
“He was definitely needed,” said Amy. “He’s completed the family.”
“And we miss him when he’s not around, like when we’re on holiday,” she continued.
Lionel said: “There was definitely a void that he’s filled.”
“He’s perfect, he’s made for us,” added Amy.
And now, Jarvis can look forward to his first Christmas filled with love in his new home and will play a key part in the celebrations.