O’Malley is lucky to be alive. I was on my way to work yesterday when I saw a cat lying on the side of the road. I thought it was dead but as I passed I noticed that its head was up. It took me just a split second to realize that a head up meant he was alive, I was supposed to be at work in 10 minutes, and I HAD to stop and help him. I whipped my car around, parked in an apartment complex across the street, rolled down the windows a bit for Snarf who was in the back seat and ran back to him. I had to wait to cross the four lanes because cars and trucks were going by and I was so scared one was going to hit him right as I was trying to save him. I ran over there and saw that he was alert but he was covered in dirt, debris, open wounds and, worst of all, ants. They were crawling all over him! I pulled him out of the road and onto the grass and picked all the ants off of him while I called my vet. The secretary told me our vet was out for lunch but would be back soon. So I scooped him up and carried him back across the road to my car and just laid him on the front seat since I didn’t have a carrier. On the way to the vet he panted a lot and I worried for him, especially when he just hung his head off the seat.
Once at the vet, they brought me a carrier to put him in and Snarf and I waited patiently for our vet to return. My vet, Dr. Jill, actually left her personal lunch break to come back early just to see me and this poor cat! She’s so awesome! There wasn’t much Dr. Jill could tell me right away though. He was clearly dehydrated and she knew something was broken in his hind end. She would have to sedate him and take X-rays to know more. I left knowing that if it was his pelvis he had a shot but if it was his back, there was nothing we could do for him and he’d have to be put down. So Snarf and I left for work, hoping and hoping that his X-rays would reveal good things. I had already decided before I left, though, that if it turned out to be his back, I would leave work and go there to be with him as he was put down because I wasn’t going to let him die alone.
I, of course, was twittering during all of this, keeping people updated, and good wishes and healing #pawcircle thoughts flowed in for him! I was supposed to know after about 45 minutes but close to 3 hours later, and still hearing nothing, I finally gave in and called. His back was FINE! It made me so happy! His pelvis is broken and his left hip is completely dislocated but his back looked good. He had even eaten a little & gone to the bathroom so I was ecstatic! He stayed overnight on fluids, antibiotics & some pain meds. O’Malley will likely have to have an FHO, which is a femoral head ostectomy, which basically means have his femoral head completely removed. Scar tissue is supposed to grow around it and basically form a new joint. It actually looks like a really neat surgery so you should look it up if you find that sort of thing interesting. She told me that his surgery was NOT an emergency so it could wait until she returned because she had asked around to other vets and they quoted it as anywhere from $750 to $1500! If she does it, she’ll give us a major discount because she’s cool like that!
The Next Day
This morning when they opened I called and checked on him and learned he had done well overnight. I had felt things would be right for him but was still worried. After work I had to feed ferals before I could go get him so I was pretty much the last one there but the vet (not our usual one) and the secretary stayed late just for me! I brought Jacob, another of our fosters, with me so I could get them both combo tested. Jacob has been separated from our personal cats because he had combo tested negative before at a feral cat spay/neuter clinic but since it was batch testing, we wanted to be cautious. Jacob went first and I was overjoyed when his came back fully negative. Then out came O’Malley. The poor guy had fresh blood in some of his wounds and looked a bit upset. He was also dehydrated so the doctor had to stick him with 6 syringes full of subcutaneous water. Plus he gave him another shot of antibiotics since one of his wounds seems to go down to the muscle. Then the poor boy had to be stuck 4 times before a vein could finally be found to draw his blood! Oh my goodness but he was such a good sport. He hissed some but never tried to bite!
Then came the waiting for his results. Something in my gut had me scared but I tried to be positive. Then some blue stain crept across the side and my heart just sank. I said “That’s not good” and as the dot became clearer the vet pulled out the test information to check on which he had just tested positive for. I was so happy when it was FIV but it’s still not what we’d all been hoping for. So O’Malley makes our SECOND foster cat with FIV, along with Storm. Now before the test, the vet had said that if he had either FIV or FelV it would be best to put him down. But once he saw it was FIV, he said to wait and discuss it with our vet, Dr. Jill. So on Monday when she gets back we will discuss how this may affect things. FIV, while not a death sentence, could affect his immune system. So he may not bounce back from surgery like a completely healthy cat would but the way Nikki & I see it, without the surgery, he doesn’t have a life. So I believe it’s worth the risk to give him a shot at a more comfortable, normal life. Anyway, I brought him home and after much shuffling around he was put in his new, small kennel. It has to be small because he’ll need to be confined for 6-8 weeks. The vet told me I would need to force feed him and use a syringe to squirt water down his throat but I think he’s a lot more comfortable here because he’s eaten & drank (a lot!) on his own. Of course, he did like it best when he could lick the wet food off my finger. ^_^ We’ll also be cleaning his wounds with hydrogen peroxide and giving him a week’s worth of antibiotics starting tomorrow. So far, so good!
To Be Continued!
And thus begins the saga of O’Malley the car-hit cat. There will be a lot more to come, I’m sure, and we’ll definitely keep you updated on his progress! Enjoy this short video of him: