Friday, December 1, 2023
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Kitty in Need: Smudgie in Recovery

cat on exam table
Smudgie with her person at the vet.

A friend and long-time cat rescuer sent out an e-mail a few weeks ago about one of her rescues, a former feral turned indoor cat who had disappeared. Smudgie miraculously returned three months later but with life-threatening injuries that probably resulted from being caught in a leg trap for some period of time as well as other injuries on her head and neck that may have been from a fight with another animal…or worse. Down from 14 lbs. to 4.5 lbs., dehydrated and severely malnourished, she still managed to drag herself home to the person who had originally shown her such kindness and taken her in as a forever cat.

The veterinarian said that she wasn’t sure what had happened, but that the injuries on her hind legs were consistent with being caught in a leg trap. One front leg has a deep puncture wound. However, the injuries on her head and neck are older and one may appear as if she had something wrapped around her neck. (I have a slideshow of somewhat graphic photos at the end of this post.)

All the wounds are deeply infected, and she actually has bone exposed on her hind legs at the “heel”. She is obviously in immense pain from this and is anemic and still struggling with nutrition and a persistent fever, though she has gained a little weight and her exposed tissues appear to be healing. The veterinarian has directed to redress Smudge’s legs twice a week, and likely clean and debride tissue along with a progress update. Smudgie is on antibiotics, pain medications and a high-potency liquid vitamin for her anemia.

And she’s a fighter! This isn’t going to stop her.

Even with all this, Smudgie is responding well to treatment and is expected to recover, but recovery will take months and a good bit of expensive treatment. Her person is experienced in animal care and can provide a good bit at home, but the nature of Smudgie’s injuries necessitates regular trips to the veterinarian and lots of medication. The tissue on her hind legs is recovering, though an amputation may still be necessary if the embedded infection can’t be cured.

The message from Smudgie’s person:

Smudgie was originally a “feral”…I loved and cared for her deeply and after 5 or 6 years she came “around.” No, she’s not a lap cat but she has been a special part of my family for about 7 or 8 years. Of course, she has been spayed for years, UTD on her shots, etc.

Well, back in the end of May, 2012 Smudgie “disappeared” 🙁 I searched & searched & searched with no success. Due to my location (in a somewhat wooded area) I had to assume the very worst.

Then as MIRACLES HAPPEN……………my Smudgie just “showed up” late [one] night. WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She was only a shadow of her old self. She “used to weigh in at around 14 lbs. She is now down to 4 1/2 lbs. She was sooooooooooo hungry and so sweet. Then—HORROR…..two awful wounds on both hind legs. The wounds had maggots, etc. I rushed to her to Vet, she stayed overnight, I asked for conservative treatment. Believe me, I have no objections to euthanasia but only if necessary.

Please donate if you can

There are various ways you can contribute to Smudgie’s care. Animal Care & Welfare has given assistance to Smudgie’s vet bills. You can donate directly to them in Smudgie’s name, or just to help replenish what’s in their available funds to help other animals.

Donations can be made directly to Chartiers Animal Hospital for “Smudgie Bane” by calling 412. 279.7300.

And of course there is a ChipIn, this managed by Animal Care and Welfare:

Below are photos taken of Smudgie at the veterinarian on September 12, courtesy of Indigo Tiger of Animals Against the Odds.


All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission.


From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

16 thoughts on “Kitty in Need: Smudgie in Recovery

  • Patti Bane and Smudgie

    Yes, thank God.Smudgie is coming along nicely. BUT, the Vet bills continue. Weekly visits to Chartiers, etc. meds, etc. bandage changes, etc. all adds up………….possibly upcoming surgery 🙁

    Smudgie & Patti

  • Patti Bane & Smudgie

    I have created another ChipIn for Smudgie. Check my FB page for the ChipIn.

  • Patti & Smudgie Bane

    Smudgie had another appt. today (weekly) She now weighs 8 lbs. 12 oz. We are looking into “laser therapy” for her wounds. Anyone have any experience with this ??
    Smudgie says THANK YOU…………………Keep those prayers and good thoughts coming !! We WUV YOU ALL !!

    • Patti, Smudgie’s weight gain is amazing–if anything says she’s on a path to healing that is it. What kind of laser therapy did the vet mention?

  • Patti Bane

    THANK YOU everyone !!!!!!!!!!!! Smudgie’s wounds are VERY-VERY SLOWLY healing. I am considering “laser therapy” ???? Any thoughts ? The really not so good news is that Smudgie has an enlarged lymph node on her neck 🙁 A basic test showed it suspicious (possibly cancer) 🙁
    She may need surgery for removal 🙁 I need to find a way to raise more funds $$$$ Any ideas ??
    I’ve asked the “people” in charge of the ChpIn to take some out and send to the Vet ASAP. I get a work bonus in December that will help, but I can’t get that until December.
    Anyway,.PLEASE -please PLEASE.Keep Smudgie in your daily PRAYERS !!! She (and I) have fought so hard !!!

    Blessings & thank you
    Patti (Smudgie’s human)

    • Patti, thanks for the update! I really hope it’s not cancer, that’s all you and Smudgie need.

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  • Patti (Smudgie's Mom)

    A great big THANK YOU to all !!!!! Smudgie is coming along………has weekly Vet appts. for bandage changes and injectable meds. Her wounds are healing slowly BUT surely ! Dr. mendenhall said at her last visist that there is a possibility she may need some surgery to “shave” the one leg bone down. 🙁

    Smudgie has come this far…………………she’s a fighter and so am I !

    THANK YOU !!

    ps I am trying to locate her Chip-In ? Can’t find it.

    • Patti, I’m so glad you let us know about Smudgie. I’ve been following your comments and think it’s about time for an update with good news! The ChipIn is above now–when I first added it, it just wouldn’t work and no one could read the end of the article, so I just had the text link to it that’s right above. We’ll let people know how Smudgie is doing!

  • Karen Lucas

    Immediately wanted to help and will mail check today. How wonderful that Smudgie made it home and we will pray for her recovery however long it takes and thank you for putting this in your blog so people can help Smudgie.

    • Karen, thanks so much! I can’t believe she made it this far.

  • Annie

    My Gracious, that must be EXCRUCIATING. So Glad she knew who to turn to..

    • Annie, I can’t imagine what Smudgie went through.

  • So sad but so glad that she managed to find her way home. What an awful story. Hopefully with a happy ending!

    • I hate to think someone may have done something to her, and that she wasn’t so traumatized that she’d never turn to humans again–she was feral after all.

      • Patti and Smudgie

        I’ve created another ChipIn for Smudgie. 🙁


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