Sometimes, the first time we meet an animal they are in crisis. We root for every animal that comes through our shelter, but when there are injuries involved everybody’s heart becomes much more invested. Thankfully, our community steps up EVERY TIME with donations to give the dog or cat the best possible shot at a normal outcome.
In this particular case, a tuxedo kitten, subsequently named Trooper, was found near Grants Pass High School with extensive injuries to his right hind leg. In an attempt to save the leg, he was rushed to Southern Oregon Specialty Center in Medford for surgery, by two generous volunteers—Bill and Sue Bradley.
To keep the leg was going to require skill, hard work, and A LOT OF LUCK as the post-surgery prognosis was only guardedly optimistic. In addition to a metal plate, he required a bone graft because marrow was missing from a portion of the bone. Also, of concern was damage to tissue and a shortening of muscle in the leg. Now, along with managing his pain the cat staff would be tasked with performing physical therapy on him three times a day. To be so intimately connected to an animal’s recovery creates a special bond and, sometimes, great expectations.
Even when the odds are stacked against success it is still a shock when everyone’s best efforts are repaid with disappointment. Two months after his surgery the metal plate failed and his femur fractured again in the same spot. Instead of trying the surgery again the decision was made, with a heavy heart, to amputate Trooper’s leg.
But, challenged again by adversity, Trooper was resilient. With great human support, he made the adjustment in virtually no time at all and acted like having three legs was not a disadvantage at all. For the first time we got to enjoy his carefree attitude without worrying excessively about his health. Love was united with joy as we were able to watch him be a cat with all of the curiosity, whims, and agility nature gives to felines.
It took a couple of months to find his forever family, but that gave us a chance to, finally, just ENJOY him. We had all been through a lot together. When his family did find him it was a true HAPPY TAIL because now he had two children who would have to try to keep up with him!