"I saw him in the filthy window when we pulled up," Amy Haas-Gray, founder of Hardin-Eldora Animal Rescue Team (HEART), tells The Dodo. "Just a tiny little guy, eyes all matted shut, he had his head back and his mouth open trying to breathe. He was the first one I grabbed when we finally got in there."
With a little time and a lot of care, Tristan would open his eyes to a brand-new life.
"I knew that he had been in a rough situation before I adopted him," Megan Riker tells The Dodo.
In fact, Haas-Gray had warned Riker before she met him that "he looked a little rough."
It wasn't until Riker met him that the depths of his old situation really hit home.
One look at the forlorn feline, Riker says, "broke my heart."
But not Tristan's. The little black cat seemed to be in a hurry to catch up on all the things in life he had missed.