Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A cat called custard

Last Saturday night the doorbell rang at about 10pm, there's a young lad at the door.

"Do you know the owner of a ginger cat? I've just run him over and he's crawled into a hedge down the road."

I grabbed my torch and raced down the road; the cat was there in a hedge shaking and bleeding from the mouth. Still fairly lively though given what had happened to him. It was pretty obvious I had to get him out as if he went any further into the hedge it would be really difficult to get him out. Luckily I managed to get hold of him at the first attempt and dragged him out. He was squirming a lot which felt like a good sign. I sat him on the floor and calmed him down before taking him back to my house. I got him inside and took him into the kitchen. He coughed and blood spurted all over the kitched floor. His lower jaw was clearly broken, hanging down and one of his back legs was dislocated judging by his limp.

We grabbed one of our cat boxes and as I'd been drinking the young lad that ran him over and his girlfriend agreed to take him to the vets. He was pretty quiet in the car, I could hear him breathing and his airway sounded good, breathing hard but not laboured.

We got to the vets and they took him away. About 15 mins later the vet returned. The cat's lower jaw is completely split in half and the roof of his mouth is badly fractured too. They have him on oxygen and painkillers. The surgery will cost a significant amount of money. If we can't find the owners within 24 hours then he will be put down. If his condition worsens then he will be put down. We all felt pretty dejected - he was alive but if we didn't find out who owned him he was dead. We figured that at the very least he would spend his last hours in comfort rather than freezing and bleeding to death in a hedge. I told the vet to call me straight away if anything changed.

We went back to my house and photocopied a bunch of fliers to put through people's doors asking if they know of the cat and to call the vets immediately. I delivered them all sometime after midnight and eventually went to bed.

After lunch on Sunday I decided to ring the vets as I hadn't heard anything. Still no word from the owners but at least his condition was stable.

I decided to go further afield and try more fliers. He was just too well groomed to be stray, he had to be owned by someone. So I started to flier the rest of the estate and asked around the residents to see if they knew him. He was known in the area and had been seen in the gardens so that was a good start.

By now I had one flier left and was giving up and going home when I walked past a couple of kids playing in the alley. I decided to go back and ask them if the knew the cat. The little girl I talked to said she hadn't seen her ginger cat for a day or so. We went and got her mom and from the description it was surely their cat - especially as they confirmed that he hadn't be spayed. The vet had told me that he hadn't been spayed and that pretty much any cat that gets run over is a male who hasn't been spayed.

I gave them the last flier and went home - fingers crossed.

5 hours or so later I had a call from the vets saying the owners had come forward and he was going to get the operation he needed. His condition had improved and he was doing really well.

His name? Custard.

Just goes to show you should never ever give up.

Hopefully I will hear later this week how the operation went....