Update July 5, 2017

It is with a heavy heart that we let you know that Papaya has passed. In the last two weeks, Papaya's health deteriorated. Last week he rallied and came home to Calmar from the Clinic. He was surrounded by his family of caregivers and went on stroller rides and sunbathed just like usual. We thought that the worst was behind him and we were hopeful. But his health worsened once again it was determined that the kindest thing to do for Papaya was to let him go. 

To say that we will miss him is an understatement. He was one of a kind and there will never be another guy quite like Papaya.


Papaya has been at the Sanctuary since November of 2015. In that time he has had his ups and downs. Things are definitely on the upswing now.

Back in 2015 Papaya was living on his own in Florida. He had a horrible wound on his face. He was rescued by a local group that wanted to see if it could help this handsome ginger fellow feel better. Despite their efforts, the group could not get the wound to heal. So they contacted Best Friends to see if Papaya could get the help he needed at the Sanctuary in Utah.

Well, that wound proved to be stubborn here, too. But Papaya showed us he is a fighter, and there is no quit in our veterinary team, either. You can read all about Papaya’s journey here.

One final surgery was scheduled for Papaya. After exhaustive efforts by the veterinary team to save Papaya’s eye and rebuild his eyelid, it was determined that those efforts just weren’t working well enough to give Papaya true relief. The only thing left to do was to remove the eye and close the wound. Papaya sailed through surgery and he is feeling and looking amazing now.

These days Papaya can be found lounging in a stroller, just waiting for a volunteer to take him out for a ride around the grounds of Cat World.

Papaya naps in a stroller

But when Papaya hears the treat box rattle, he is a blur of light orange fur making a beeline to the kitchen to get his share. Rumor has it Papaya is learning to walk on a leash. But that’s just so he can roll around in the sand, not because he’s gotten a little portly during his long recuperation.

We are certain Papaya will find a perfect home of his very own to watch over. Until that day, he is safe and very much loved here at the Sanctuary.