The amazing recovery of a Florida cat who was found covered in ants and severely malnourished has turned the cat into an Instagram star.
The cat, named Silas, was found two years ago by the oldest daughter of South Florida resident Marci Pence. Pence’s daughter, Chelsea, now 26, was walking her black Labrador when the dog kept pulling her over to a grassy area, Pence said.
“They found Silas in a pile of ants,” Pence told ABC News.
The family took Silas to an emergency veterinarian clinic where he was diagnosed with a lung and eye infections and deemed near-death with severe dehydration and malnourishment, Pence said.
Pence took the cat in and nursed him back to health, turning him into a healthy, 15-pound literal ball of fur.
“He got better quickly and he just is the sweetest cat in the world,” Pence said. “He’s a Ragdoll mix and when you hold him he kind of goes limp.”
“He acts like a dog, follows you everywhere, greets you at the door,” Pence said of Silas.
Silas had so many followers among the Pences' family and friends that the family joked they should get their cat his own Instagram account.
Pence’s younger daughter, 16-year-old Catherine, took them up on the idea. Silas now has nearly 10,000 followers on Instagram.
The cat’s before-and-after photo was the first picture.
“People went kind of crazy over that picture and he got a lot of followers very quickly,” Pence said. “I started maintaining it just because it got bigger and bigger.”
Pence, who works full-time as a vice president and director of operations for a local optometry practice, says she gets messages from people around the world, and those messages increase if she goes a few days without posting a new photo of Silas.
“He is a beautiful cat but it’s his personality,” Pence said of the cat’s appeal. “It’s almost like he’s thankful [to be alive].”