In February 2017, Elaine Seamans, who runs the Atchoo Foundation, found a cat named Valentino in the Baldwin Park animal shelter in Los Angeles County. No one would touch him. They even thought he was a girl. Valentino suffered from sarcoptic mange, a skin infection caused by mites that usually affects dogs. It can spread to humans and cause a mild rash. He was also covered in dirt and his eyes were caked shut.
In spite of his blindness, Valentino reached out to Seamans as she passed by and meowed to her. Feeling he needed the touch of a human, Seamans chose to pick him up and hug him without using gloves. Then she called a friend, Toby Wisneski, at the organization Leave No Paws Behind, Inc.
Valentino was so sick, barely able to move, that Seamans feared he would die in her arms. He was taken to the vet, who found a bacterial infection and bleeding ulcer on top of the mange. These had apparently caused his crash in health.
But Valentino was a fighter. He responded well to treatment. Soon, his rescuers discovered his eyes were green, when he was able to open them about a week later.