A LOVELY ginger cat called Russell who was badly burned in a fire is now offering comfort to other poorly animals.
Russell was in a house fire a year ago that destroyed his home and left him with severe burns on his face and body.
Now a patient at the Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care Clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina, Russell is still receiving treatment.
But friendly Russell is now cuddling up to other animals who need some TLC.
"He's incredibly engaging," said member of staff Alan Wilford. "He wants to meet all our patients. He just wants to be with them.
"I don't know if he can sense that other animals are in pain or have stuff going on, but he does seem to have some weird knack for connecting with patients."
He helps relieve the stress of other sick animals by cuddling up to them. He wanders in and out of the clinic rooms to visit his "patients". He really enjoys giving companionship to others, said Alan.
He said Russell might never be well enough leave the clinic but they were happy to keep him there.
"He's adopted us," he said. "He's a rock star here. Everyone wants to see him, and he just eats it up. I don't know if he'd like being a normal house cat again, so we'd be happy to keep him as our clinic mascot."
"He wants to be friends with every animal," says Megan Maus, a vet tech. "He's a very inquisitive cat. A very loving little cat."
One of his friends is a fawn, now named Darla. The baby deer was found on a lawn. She was left there for a while to see if her mother returned, but she never did.
Then there is Rosco, a stray chihuahua, who was attacked by another dog. Russell has taken him under his paw and is making sure he knows he has a friend.
|Russell and Darla the deer.|
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