Meet Shadow, the kitten rescued from a dumpster by his furever family who's now living his best cat life.
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black cat that was rescued from a dumpster when he was a kitten
Credit: Jasmin Bauer / Getty

We've all had times when we felt down in the dumps. But that was a little too literal for one kitten, Shadow, who was suffering in an actual dumpster. Thankfully, his new fur mama, Lisa, found out about the "sick little kitten" in the bin behind a Florida church.

According to Newsweek, Shadow was severely dehydrated, ridden with fleas, and weighed in at less than 1 pound when Lisa came to his rescue about a year ago. Lisa's mom had told her about the kitten, and she wrapped him in a towel and took him to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic.

After several tests, the vets at the clinic determined Shadow was likely around 3 months old, meaning he was extremely underweight for his age and likely malnourished. The black kitten received IV fluids and was put on a course of medication before he returned to the care of his lifesaver and her partner, Michael.

When he first came home with them, Lisa and Michael planned to care for the kitten for around 10 days before he could join a foster home before eventually finding his forever home. Lisa told Newsweek she was doubtful about keeping the little black cat, as she had tried to bring a new kitten into her clan of three adult cats before, and it had gone "terribly." But after a few days, Lisa and Shadow were smitten kittens.

"He would climb up to my neck and just be my little purring necklace. He was the sweetest, most trusting, affectionate little cutie I've ever had," she told Newsweek. After a short period, Lisa took the plunge and introduced Shadow to her other cats. While she was nervous at first, she said the other cats immediately accepted the downtrodden feline.

After realizing Shadow had been accepted by their cat tribe, Lisa and Michael decided to ditch their initial plans and welcome Shadow into their home permanently. Lisa made a post about Shadow's journey on Reddit, and it has since been upvoted more than 10,000 times. And their story is especially like-worthy, considering the Humane Society of the United States estimates that only 25 percent of cats born outdoors reach 6 months old.

But people like cat advocate Lisa explained that against the odds, fighting for the life of an animal in need will ultimately benefit both lives.

"I've always felt that if a cat in distress comes across your path in life, you'll both be better off once you help them," she said.