“Unless there’s some miracle, I’ll probably be saying goodbye to him in a few days.” It’s rare that something miraculous does happen, but rare doesn’t mean never.
Buddy’s story starts out on a rather gruesome note. He was found on the side of a road, an orange and white kitten lying so still in the August heat, his legs obviously damaged that it was hard to believe he was alive. His rescuer was shocked to find he was still alive. In addition to the floppy broken legs he had a wound on his hip that was crawling with maggots, so he’d been there for at least 12 hours. He’d apparently been hit by a car, was unable to move and was likely experiencing intense pain.
He ended up at our clinic where he was examined and xrayed to find that his front left leg was broken into 2 pieces, both femur heads on his hind legs were fractured, his pelvis was crushed and his sacrum was fractured. But he enjoyed being petted and purred and didn’t act at all like a kitten who’d been through a horrible experience and was still in pain. He was put on cage rest at the clinic, ate and drank and was friendly and purring, and when it seemed he would actually survive his experience it was time to find a foster.
Buddy went home with Margo and really responded well to treatment and just became sweeter by the day. After a couple of weeks, however, Buddy began having a very hard time passing stool. Because of his pelvis being crushed, the opening was too small and the fractured sacrum and crushed pelvis were collapsing in on his colon. For several days he went to the vet for enemas and being “manually evacuated”, but that couldn’t last forever. Buddy had to see a specialist to determine if there was any way to help his condition. In the meantime he was as sweet as ever, and Buddy went to work with Margo every day, and she slept in the room with him every night.
A surgery to repair this problem is not uncommon. Sadly, cats are hit by cars pretty regularly and a crushed pelvis is typical. But the specialist checked Buddy and said because of the severity of his injuries, he wouldn’t be able to correct Buddy’s pelvis—the surgery would create an opening, but as he grew the surgical correction would not. The surgeon suggested euthanasia when his condition became impossible to manage.
Margo held him and cried. Buddy obviously loved her and trusted her but how could she look at him and think she was basically letting him die? On the way home from the specialist she called me and asked if I could take some special photos of Buddy, and we did that at her house with Buddy outside in the sun on the deck on a rich red cushion, happy and purring and looking cute with his custom cast wrap on his foreleg.
Our rescue’s vet and head vet tech were willing to continue to try with him as long as they could, but if his quality of life deteriorated they would not go a moment farther. The laxative therapy softened his stool so he wouldn’t need enemas every couple of days. But then he began passing stool without help, which was totally unexpected. Each day Margo would hold her breath waiting to see if he could still pass stool…and he could! He no longer needed the enemas, and he was able to pass formed stool. She went from hearing the worst news ever to knowing that they might have a chance, and this was the miracle.
It may seem odd that a cat able to poop is a miracle, but in the world of cat rescue we’ll take it where we can get it—because this meant life for Buddy. He continued not only to pass stool but to thrive and become, if possible, even more playful, loving and affectionate. He could walk even with the fractured femur heads and broken front leg. Best of all, he could have surgery.
He still has that surgery planned and then a long recovery, healing and treatments ahead, but Buddy is being a kitten who just doesn’t care about all that. He’s sure Margo will take care of it for him.
Because both hind legs would be done at once the broken front leg was an issue and had to be resolved before the surgery if possible so that he would have both front legs to work with. In preparation for the surgery the splint was removed from his front leg to see if the bones had healed enough to hold his weight, and it appears the bones healed enough for now and he walks and leaps and plays like any kitten his age.
Because of his amazing personality Buddy is still a candidate for surgery and has excellent chances of recovery and living a full life, pain-free, for many years. His bilateral femoral head ostectomy (FHO) surgery—on both femur heads at the same time—is scheduled for November 18 at PVSEC. Though Buddy can walk now, the surgery will allow Buddy to move with much more ease, and because of the way the bone will heal he will have much less pain in the future.
This surgery will cost around $3,000. Margo has been collecting donations from individuals and through events like jewelry parties, donation nights at a bar with gift baskets and other events. She’s collected almost enough to pay for his surgery, and if you’d like to donate, please see below. Any donations left over will be used for other rescued cats in need through HCMT and Pittsburgh CAT.
With all the kittens and cats in need out there, why do we spend this much time, effort and money on one kitten? You make this decision on a cat-by-cat basis and it often has to do with the cat’s personality because a good attitude and adaptability make the best patient, and the most likely to survive because of those qualities. Buddy has a friendly, fun personality and attitude gives him a big chance of taking the pain and inconvenience of a major surgery very well, being the greatest help to his own healing.
And because every cat is worth the chance regardless of their circumstances.
You can follow Buddy’s progress on a Facebook page: Buddy the Pittsburgh Cat
Donate for a Discount
Many of you readers have often been generous in helping these rescuers with the costs associated with rescues, and when I set up my new website I included my favorite reward program as one of the pages, titled “Donate For a Discount”. I will give you a gift certificate toward shopping on my website in thanks—for every $25.00 you donate in goods or cash I’ll give you a gift certificate for $5.00 off a minimum $25.00 purchase.
- $5.00 off $25,00 when you donate $25.00
- $10.00 off $50.00 when you donate $50.00
- $15.00 off $75.00 when you donate $75.00
- $20.00 off $100 when you donate $100.00
- and so on
Let me know you donated:
- Paypal a donation to Pittsburgh C.A.T. at email@example.com
- Mail a check with a note that it’s “for Buddy” to HCMT:
Homeless Cat Management Team
P. O. Box 100203
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
Donations to Pittsburgh C.A.T. ARE NOT tax-deductible.
Donations to HCMT ARE tax-deductible.
Email me with your donation information.
- Email a copy of your donation receipt.
- I will confirm and send you your gift certificate (discount code).
How to use it:
- Each certificate is good for $5.00 off your order of $25.00 or more.
- Use for individual shopping trips or all at once.
- Use for your own shopping, give as a gift, or keep for later.
- Certificates are good until December 31, 2016, and I can renew them if you haven’t used them by the end of the year.
Read more Rescue Stories.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!