This is a story about a cat I called Lucky. At the time I did not realize how wrong I would be about choosing that name and also how right I would be.
It started on a Saturday Night, October 8, 2005. Our neighbor across the street, Doug, called and said there was an injured kitten under my wife’s car and it was hissing when he tried to get close. Of course, the last thing we needed was another cat (we had six then) but we couldn’t leave it there.
I went outside and tried to coax the kitten out from under the car but she was not going to budge. I didn’t know the sex of the kitten at the time but we found out later it was a female. Her front paw looked broken and she had a hard time moving. She hissed at me a few times, probably because she was scared, but she never tried to bite me.
I put some dry food near her and she ate it all, so I gave her some wet food and a little water. She was very hungry and thirsty. Since I couldn’t get her out from under the car, I decided to move the car. I very carefully backed it up while Rose and her son’s girlfriend watched for any movement. Rose threw a towel over her as soon as the car was clear and we very carefully moved her to the garage.
We got her into the garage and put her on a couple of towels. That’s when we noticed a chunk of skin about the size of a quarter, maybe bigger, missing from her hind quarter. She also had cuts on one of her ears and it looked like her jaw was slightly out of alignment. We suspected right away, but we knew then, that a car hit her.
Rose put some antibacterial ointment on her wounds and we moved her near the door and made a make-shift barricade around her so she wouldn’t hurt herself further in the garage. I gave her some food and water and checked on her a few times before we went to bed.
At the time we were raising two boys and six cats and did not have money to spare so a large vet bill for a stray cat was not in our budget. Because of that, we decided to bring her to the SPCA in New Port Richey, Florida, which opened at noon the next day. We got there when they opened and they turned us away before we even got to the door. They said they had no vet on duty and they were full. Vet or no vet, full or not full, they were still in a better position to help an injured cat than I was and should have done something. Since then I have not been a fan of the SPCA, even though I know I shouldn’t judge because of one incident.
Rose was very upset and said to the person at the SPCA, “What are we supposed to do, put him back on the side of the road?” They did give us a list of vets in the area and I called a place called Little Animal Hospital, which was named that because they were on Little Road. They told us to bring the cat in, which we did.
When we got there they took the cat in the back while we waited in the front. We noticed there was a big window showing a room full of cats that needed to be adopted. It was nice to know that they cared enough to do that. A few minutes later we were called to the back where we spoke to the vet.
She told us her foot was broken and would need to be amputated. There was also unknown internal injuries. We didn’t even ask about the cost because we knew that the surgery, combined with all the other rehabilitation costs, as well as the costs of getting her spayed and immunized would be way more than we could afford. Our other choice was to have her put to sleep. I didn’t like that idea but there seemed to be no other choice so we agreed to that, paid the $73 bill and left feeling horrible.
On the way home I told Rose we made a mistake. This little kitten needed us to save her and we failed. We should have arranged to make payments or something. Rose agreed with me but it was too late.
Around the same time, Rose’s Mom was looking to adopt a cat so Rose told her about the cats at the vet’s office that were for adoption. She found a Maine Coon cat there that she adopted and named Monkey.
She also came back with a story that we were very happy to hear. Our little girl lucky was not Euthanized. The vet decided to try to save her. They did not amputate her paw either. She did require a lot of rehabilitation. Just using the litter box required human help for many weeks until she healed. I do not know what happened to her after that but I was very glad that the story had a happy ending.