(CNN) – Weighed down by five pounds of matted fur, a once-neglected cat now has a new stride in its step and a huge following on social media.

His name is Sinbad and he’s captured the internet’s heart. The nine year old Persian has more than four thousand followers on Facebook and Instagram, but people aren’t clicking the like buttons hundreds of times because of the cat’s attention-grabbing eyes or adorable poses. It’s the story of where Sinbad came from.

Colette Bradley said, “So we got a phone call to our humane investigators about a cat who was living in a basement. The individual was a utilities worker and happened to be in the area and saw the cat in the basement.”

“He had very apparent matted hair hanging off of him. He couldn’t move very well. His back legs were just immobile basically. Persian cats need to be groomed and brushed regularly to keep the hair separated and from clumping up together so those mats get very tough and they’re very hard to comb out.”

Sinbad’s owner was no longer capable of taking care of him. Thankfully, the owner agreed to hand the cat over to the anti-cruelty society and they went to work.

“We used electric razors to get as close as we could to his skin but it was hard to tell where the hair ended and his skin started so umm you know just a lot of patience. It took several, several hours to work on him and to get that hair to star coming off.”

It took hours to shave Sinbad. He even required anesthesia at one point. When they were done, they found that Sinbad was dragging around five pounds of matted fur. And he was severely malnourished.

Elliott Serrano said, “they had the pictures on their camera phone and they said, ‘Elliot, we found you a cat.’ and I was like “really?” because he was like so sweet and so tolerant during the process um we knew that he was a special little guy.”

Serrano is the humane education manager at the anti-cruelty society. Over the holidays, he agreed to foster Sinbad at his home so the cat wouldn’t be alone in the office. The two bonded immediately.

Serrano said, “We focus so much on the condition he was in but the most remarkable thing about him is that after all that he has been through, he is a really sweet, loving cat and how can you say no to that?”

So Elliott officially adopted Sinbad giving the cat a forever home where he can get the care he needs. He began sharing Sinbad’s story on social media, created the cat’s own accounts, and the story has blown up.

Serrano said, “We’re getting messages from the Netherlands, the U.K., Dubai, Australia. All because the story of this cats gotten everywhere. He has over four thousand followers on Instagram. His Facebook page has that many likes and followers.”

When asked, “How many followers do you have on Instagram?” Serrano said, “You really had to bring that up didn’t you?”