So a few posts back I mentioned that our Mama Cat gave birth to 8 kittens while we were away in Utah last week. I can't BELIEVE she had THAT MANY flippin cats! Whats even more shocking, they are all getting fed enough to survive, although Mama sure is lookin skinny these days!
So when I pulled the kittens out of the Raspberry bushes to move them into the garage....I noticed the littlest one had a messed up back leg. The paw was completely unrecognizably swollen, and it had crusty moldy looking patches all the way up past the knee joint. At first I thought it had mud all over one leg, but then to my horrow I realized that No...that WAS its leg! So gross. But what to do? I put it in the garage with the others and thought that the Mama cat would probably not feed it and it would most likely die. Pretty sad, but well, thats the way it is.
So every day I peeked in the box expecting it to be neglected or dead....but it was always there nursing right along with the others and the Mama was totally taking care of it! Baffling! And when I inspected the gimpy leg and of course - it was starting to look infected. It was SO GROSS. Oozing and swollen. And I started to worry that the kitten was in pain and maybe needed put down.
I called around ALL over town and much to my horror found out that it was going to cost me right around $65 to get it seen by a vet to even determine if it needed put to sleep - and then on top of that another whopping $90 to put the sweet thing out of its misery! I was horrified. Gabe was as usual quite unsympathetic and more than happy to shoot it for free in the backyard. But me being in the hormonal state I am in just couldnt bear the thought of him shooting it to smithereens! Plus there it was TRYING TO LIVE! Every day I would go out and check on it, and it was so little and definitley starting to weasel its way into my heart.... ( I know I know, I need therapy!). But I couldnt sleep at night thinking that maybe it was in pain and needed put down.
So Im not gonna lie. I said some quality prayers that somehow this kitten would be spared the miserable death of being shot by my husband! And lo and behold, almost instantly as I was researching rescue organizations a coupon for a FREE exam popped up from Pet Smart! Glory Be Halleluljah! So I wrapped my wee kitten in a towel and tucked it into a box and drove it to the clinic! The whole way there I was praying that the Vet would just have mercy on it and put it down for free. OR, even better that somehow the kitten might just live!
So I go there and much to my delight the Dr. was a BRAND new graduate. A girl my age. I was so worried it was going to be a crusty old man that would just send us away with a huge bill! She was awesome. She looked at the sad little thing and said that the umbilical cord had been wrapped around the leg, and that the kitten couldnt even feel it because the tissue was completely dead. MUSIC to my ears! It wasnt suffering! But then the bad news....the leg was infected. And it would need to be amputated when the kitten was 8-12 weeks old.....and brace yourself....
IT COSTS $1000.00 for the surgery!!!!!!!!!!!
I literally started coughing and had to sit down. She then told me she would pull some strings and left the room for about 15 minutes. When she came back in she said that they could spay the kitten and while it was out, they would amputate its leg but call it a "toe amputation"....and it would only cost me....are you ready?
I was starting to get all sad again because in WHAT universe could I hide a nearly $400 Vet bill from my husband? AND somehow explain to him that we were inheriting a 3 legged cat??? I just shook my head. And (judge me) got a little teary eyed because I knew we were going to have to just put it down....and not in a $90 lethal injection kind of way.
This Dr. was clearly feeling moved by the spirit because she looked at me and said, "I really want this kitten to live. I would hate to see you have to put it down and I will help you find a way to fix its leg so that it wont cost you so much money." She then told me that she would give me some antibiotics for it, and if I would bring it in every monday she would check its leg for FREE to make sure it was doing ok. And in the meantime she was going to ask around some rescue/charity programs and try to find some way to get its leg amputated when it was old enough to go under anesthesia. I seriously couldnt believe my ears. This girl SAVED my life that day! I dont think I could have walked out of there knowing I had to kill this poor kitten because it was too expensive to hack its leg off.
So I brought it home, gave it its medicine, and went to bed feeling super relieved. Hey, if it died it died. But at least it wasnt hurting, and I would worry about cutting its leg off when I had to down the road.
So......yesterday morning I went out to give my little kitten its medicine.
and BRACE YOURSLEVES
ITS LEG - HAD FALLEN OFF!!!!!!!!! *super intense screaming* yes, this is the actual dismembered LEG:
I could NOT believe my eyes. There was its mangled paw/leg just CHILLIN in the box. My first thought of course was that the Mother cat had chewed it off, and that the kitten was probably dead. But upon closer inspection there was the little kitty eating and crawling its way over its billion siblings in a fight for breakfast.
Gimp leg straight up FELL THE HECK OFF!
I worked up the nerve to pick up the kitten and inspect the leg. I couldnt believe it. It wasnt that bad! And all of a sudden I loved this little kitten.
Because it had just saved me $1000.
SO in short, the kitten who nearly got shot now has 3 legs, gets bottle fed twice a day, is on antibiotics twice a day, and will now be living permanently at the Beal board and rescue.
My poor husband. For better or worse, right honey???