The cat, named Hidey, was taken to the shelter after her elderly owner moved to a nursing home.
This neglect likely wasn’t purposeful — a distant relative of Hidey’s former owner told People he has Alzheimer’s.
The relative, Paul Russell, talks about finding the dreadlocked cat: “At first I thought it was a cat that had a blanket on top of it. The next day I went into the creepy old cellar and it was hunkered in a corner. I thought, ‘My god this is a cat.'”
Veterinarians shaved off Hidey’s matted fur, and she is now living with Russel and his family.
Russell also took in his relative’s other cat, Siam, who is doing fine.
The shelter reminds people to also check on any pets when checking on elderly family or community members.