He is just one little cat, but his story has touched people all over the world. Maloos, a small 2-year-old orange-and-white tabby, found in dire circumstances on the streets of Tehran, Iran was flown to the Bay Area. Now the injured feline has been adopted by a family in Napa.
In April, Maloos was found stuck to the pavement in Iran’s capital soaked in gasoline, covered with mud and shot in the face with a BB gun with a deformed spine and hind legs, San Francisco Animal Care and Control spokeswoman Rebecca Katz said.
Lalaeh Amini found Maloos, and called the Sayeh Animal Guardians, and through a series of connections found someone who was flying to San Francisco and could take Maloos to be further treated there. The group communicated with the San Francisco animal center to help treat and house the cat.
“There are limitations to what they could do for him in Iran, it happened that we had space in our center, and that it was not going to cost us anything to bring him over,” Katz said.
Maloos’ arrival in the Bay Area heralded the sympathies of people all over the country expressing interest in adopting him and donating to this care, so the animal center would not have to use tax-payer dollars for his welfare, Katz said.
The animal center held an adoption lottery to decide which family would take Maloos home. Laila Aghaie, a writer and cat-lover from Napa born in Iran, was selected to take Maloos home Wednesday.
Aghaie felt a connection with Maloos from the minute she read about him in a story in the Huffington Post.
“All I saw was that this injured cat had been brought from Iran, it was such an extraordinary story, it sounded like he had gone through the most extraordinary ordeal to come here,” Aghaie said. “I felt like I just needed to meet him.”
Aghaie has been fostering cats since she was a child in Iran, and something about Maloos story struck a chord with her.
“This is not just about his personal journey, but that these people in Iran and America who are trying to overcome their differences to make a difference in this one cat's life,” Aghaie said.
According to Aghaie, Maloos is very well adjusted and friendly and has become well-loved by her children Darius, 22, Lena, 10, and Ayden, 12, and their cats in the day that he has been there.
“He is such a strong spirit, he is not afraid of anything, he scoots around so fast and he just wants to be friends with our other cats,” Aghaie said. “You wouldn’t know that he was different from other cats, except that he needs help getting up and climbing on things, he just stands patiently next to the sofa and meows until someone comes to help him.”
Aghaie is glad that Maloos is generating interest, especially when most stories about Iran are negative concerning topics such as terrorism and war, and bad things happening to women and children.
“This is a story of a handful of people trying to make one pet’s life better, and he has made so many people feel good too,” Aghaie said.
Aghaie is also contemplating publishing a children's book about Maloos' tale, with proceeds from the book going to international animal care and rescue efforts.