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Rachel Tinny – Hairy the Cat from MIS

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My husband and I have been attending the June and August NASCAR races at Michigan International Speedway for years.  We get to spend time with awesome friends, create fun memories, and see great racing.  In June 2014, we had an unexpected and unusual experience.

At 10pm, we had just finished putting our tent up, blowing up our air mattress,  and unpacking our race gear for the weekend.  We decided to sit outside and chat with friends for a few minutes when a skinny, dirty, wet orange and white cat jumped on my lap!  A cat… at a racetrack?

I am an animal lover and stayed outside petting the cat and trying to warm him up, due to 35 degree weather, for about an hour.  I figured he must be a barn cat from the area and assumed he would find his way home.  I retired to our tent and bundled up to stay warm that night.  All of the sudden, I hear my tent rustling.  I turn on my lantern and I see a little pink nose pushing through the zipper.  I get out of bed and unzip the tent.  The orange and white cat runs into the tent, jumps onto the air mattress, and makes himself at home.  I don’t have the heart to kick him out so, I turn the lantern out and the cat snuggles between my husband and I for the rest of the night.

The next morning my husband drove to the local grocery store to buy cat food, bowls, and a litter box for our tent.  The cat stayed with us for the entire weekend!  On Sunday, we were torn, what do we do?  Do we put him in the car and hope he makes the 2 hour drive?  Do we leave him in hopes that his owner finds him?  Ultimately, we knew the right thing to do was to bring him home.

Typically cats do not enjoy car rides however, this cat sat on the center console for an hour watching out the windshield and slept for the next hour.  It was as if he knew he was going home.  We named him Prince Hairy because of his awesome orange fur.

The next three weeks were very trying.  First we were informed that hairy was chipped.  He was from a town 30 miles away from the track!  His former owner did not want to come pick him up.  Hairy spent a lot of time at the vet.  He had a bite puncture all the way through his paw.  He also had a lot of tests which ultimately determined that he had a rare blood parasite.  He was very close to death.  He was placed on antibiotics and a special pill to kill the parasite.

Today, Prince Hairy is a very healthy, incredibly happy, race-loving cat!  He sits a few inches from the TV anytime a race is on.  He watches the cars go around and the driver stats scroll across the screen.  Hairy is the best race souvenir I have ever come home with and he will always have the best rescue story!