Love for BenBen



A few days ago I came across an amazing story of a remarkable cat named BenBen. I immediately fell in love with this little kitty. Because so many of my followers are cat lovers, I thought I would share his story. (Be warned, you might cry. Tears of joy!)

In April, 2016, BenBen was brought to a shelter in Canada with multiple wounds – a broken spine, broken paws, several lacerations and a damaged ear – called a cauliflower ear.


No one knew what had happened to him but veterinarians speculated he may have been attacked by a bigger animal.  He was given several surgeries, but with little hope for a complete recovery. Because of his severe injuries, veterinarians said he would never walk again.  If he remained alive he would need extreme care, and it was unlikely anyone would be prepared to help him.  He was in fact, eventually deemed ‘unadoptable’ and scheduled to be euthanized.

BenBen was depressed, but to make things worse, he has a condition of excess skin on his face, which gives him a permanent mournful expression. (Still, he is so cute!) BenBen was called the ‘saddest cat in the world’.

benben 2

As the days passed, BenBen grew more listless and sulky.  He refused to eat or drink. Shelter workers thought he was preparing to die. He was on death row and he knew there was no hope for him.

However, one kind-hearted soul met BenBen and could not allow his demise. Sandy Windover is an ER veterinarian who had assisted with BenBen’s care. She did not want to let him go, and just a few hours before BenBen’s scheduled euthanasia, arranged to adopt him.

BenBen went home to his ‘forever home’ with Sandy.  Even as a passenger riding in her car, he already began to perk up.

benben car

Once they were home, Sandy reports that he immediately (within one hour!) began to get better. He was moving, purring and snggling up to her.  Sandy got a special non-slip training mat to help assist BenBen’s recovery so he could strengthen his legs and learn to walk again.

Little by little, BenBen was rehabilitated. Now, not only can he walk, but he also plays and can fetch a toy! His appetite is great, and he is even known to sometimes snack  on pizza.

benben pizza

The resilience of animals never ceases to amaze me. The story of BenBen touched me so much because in part it reminds me of my own cat Jasper.

Jasper, like BenBen, had been taken into Chicago Animal Care & Control by a good Samaritan who found him in an alley. It was the dead of winter (and Chicago winters are brutal!) Jasper was half starved and suffering a respiratory infection that would have killed him if he had not gotten help. The veterinarians treated him, nursed him back to health, gave him all necessary shots, and within a few weeks Jasper was deemed ‘adoptable’.

Jasper adoption pic

However, no one wanted him. Jasper is a black cat and it is notoriously hard to get anyone to adopt black cats. Apparently, old superstitions die hard and many people still consider black cats to be ‘evil’ and bad luck.

black cat scary

Jasper had been sitting in his cage for six months when I walked in, specifically looking for a black cat. (My previous one had died a few weeks before.)  Needless to say, it was destiny!  The shelter workers were thrilled that I wanted him and confided to me that they would not have been able to keep him for much longer.

When I brought Jasper home his muscles were somewhat atrophied and he could not jump. I knew if I had to carry him around, or if he was less active than a normal cat, that would be okay.  However, within two days Jasper became Supercat, able to leap tall counters and kitchen sinks in a single bound!  He has a permanent soft voice due to his respiratory infection, and he rarely meows. We call him ‘the quiet man’ but in danger he has a mean hiss!

Although Jasper’s situation was in no way as severe as BenBen’s, both cats illustrate an important point – with a little love and care, animals can recover from horrendous situations and go on to lead happy, fantastic lives!

Jasper 1

If you are thinking of adding a pet to your family, please consider a shelter animal. They are very loving and loyal, easily trained and resilient. Having seen the worst and overcome great hardships, your shelter pet will be so happy to have you!

Many people were moved by BenBen’s story. Here is one video to celebrate his new life!




30 comments on “Love for BenBen

  1. Thanks for sharing his story. I’m never sure why people don’t understand that animals have emotions, feelings, and can get depressed or sad. I guess it’s easier for people to behave in a certain way and believe they have dominion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well written! Try reading Joe Hutto A Walk onthe Wild Side, an interview in The Sun Magazine. Usually you can check it out on the Internet. He lived with mule deer and is quite famous as an ethnology expert…. animals have feelings!❤️👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brian says:

    A Lovely story. Our old cat had a somewhat grumpy expression on her face, likely more so in her later years, and having now read about BenBen I suspect she probably wasn’t so grumpy after all; she certainly surprised me with random bouts of fussiness when she perhaps didn’t look like she was in the mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All cats have their little quirks and features. Maybe it was just her skin, like BenBen! My cat has fangs which I suppose makes him look scarier — when actually he is the sweetest cat ever! But I think they all can be fussy too. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely story. So heartwarming. In my experience, rescued animals make awesome pets.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. the20somethingexistentialcrisis says:

    Thanks for sharing!

    I adopted a black cat (well two if you count my mostly black tortie). I was originally aiming for a kitten, so my older tortie, who’d been a mama cat, wouldn’t have such a tumultuous meeting. But instead I came out with a full grown black cat rechristened Vesper who had belonged to a cat hoarder the first year of her life, then was in the shelter for six months. And I knew she’d had such a hard time getting adopted because she was black.

    So, I took her home. I’ve had her almost two years and her and Harley get along somewhat. But she is a huge snuggle bug.

    Thanks for adopting a black cat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, that is so great! Sometimes what we plan and what happens are two different things — but it all works out. Vesper, that is such a cool name, I love it!

      People do not realize how overlooked black cats are in the shelters. In reality they are lovely pets, and some people even think black cats are the most affectionate! Glad you liked the story 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The cats are adorable…I really like black cats–and the name Jasper.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Two wonderful stories! I’m so happy both cats found forever homes! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anna Deneau says:

    We have four, all strays we found near our house over the last decade. We probably would have attempted to find a home for #4 but a) black and b) week before Halloween.

    And after I held him for a few seconds, it was love.

    Strays are special – I can’t imagine getting a cat that didn’t need a home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah that is so great! You know, some shelters will actually not adopt out black cats near Halloween (apparently for fear they might be used as some ritual… horrifying to think.)

      One of my black cats was a stray — he adopted me 🙂 He was always a bit feral. Strays and shelter cats are awesome! Thanks for reading 🙂


  9. Vicky V says:

    I was surprised when I found out black cats are hard to rehome because of silly superstitions. I’ve always loved back cats. Jasper is adorable. So happy you found him 🙂 My pug Wolfy was a rescue. The rescue were worried that no-one would want him as he only had one eye. That’s what attracted him to me. He was a perfect match for my little frenchie who limped as she had bad knees. People called us the Addams Family – suited us perfectly 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww. The dogs sound so cute! The wounded warriors are the best — they need much love! You definitely fit the Morticia Addams role 🙂

      People are still weird about black cats and superstitions. Everyone loves Jasper, he is a big friendly guy. Did you notice he has fangs? Lol I call him the vampire cat!

      Liked by 1 person

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  11. Forrest Pasky says:

    What a sweet kitty.

    Liked by 1 person

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