Well, this has been a week of being smucked by cars. Not only did I get hit a week ago, I'm sad to say that our funny little fur-face, Pretty Boy Floyd got struck by a car last Saturday afternoon.
I was sitting on my sofa when I heard this loud cat howling noise. At first I thought it was a cat fight. When I looked outside, I saw a car driving up the road and then saw Floyd dragging his back end behind our parked van and then out in front of it and across the street towards our house. Of course, the 'oh shits' came out of me and I immediately rushed out to stop him and then I carefully scooped him up and immediately headed for the house to grab the cat carrier. It took some juggling to open the thing, as I was on the front porch single-handedly removing the top half of the crate while cradling Floyd on my thigh. I placed him in the crate on a towel and closed it up.
The next challenge was to get him to the emergency vet. Having been in a car accident 5 days before, my car was not drivable, so I was quickly thinking about who I could call to get a ride. Roland was way off in Issaquah at a job site and not answering his cell phone. I was considering a taxi, when several women came up the front steps. One was a neighbor several doors up and the other was her mother, the one who accidentally ran over Floyd. They were looking for Floyd's owner. I explained my situation and the woman who hit Floyd offered to give us a ride to the vet! I have to say she felt awful about it, and didn't realize she hit a cat until she looked in the rear view mirror. She gave up an outing with her daughter to help Floyd and I out and stayed at the vet, until Floyd was triaged and I found out the damage from the vet. Then she gave me a ride home. She also gave me her name and phone number, wanting to be kept up to date on his condition.
From Floyd's injuries, she must have ran over his back end with her tire, breaking his pelvic bone and separating his tail bone. His legs are unbroken and fine. He has a spinal injury in his back, but the surgeon can't tell if it's causing a pinched nerve, or something more serious, based on the x-rays. His internal organs look to be OK although there is some blood in his urine. During the initial consultation, the vet asked me, "His eyes are rather googly. Was he liked that before he came in? Because if he wasn't, that indicates he's suffered brain damage."
"Oh, yeah." I said, "His eyes have always been like that. In fact, the more excited he gets, the more they spin. He's always been mental, but not from this."
Floyd has always been 'special'. Before this tragedy, Roland called him our $5,000 free cat. He fits the definition of 'Mog' for sure. When he was just a kitten, he found a dropped cold tablet on the floor and ate it, almost doing himself in then. Through his 7 years of life to date, he's been in the vet's office at least half a dozen times for being Floyd. The last vet visit was several months ago when he ingested something else that almost killed him. That was $1200. If it crashes in the house, it's Floyd.
Some folk will think, "He should have been an indoor cat."
But he would still have raided the medicine cabinet and have injested the poisonous stuff, if he could. Prior to this tragedy, he had already used up a great percentage of his cat allotted lives. I think he's finally on his 9th. But despite it all, he's such a lovable rogue, always happy to see us (except when it comes time to get flee treated or go to the vet. It's amazing how he senses these things). He's a happy go lucky sort of fella. Most of all he's ours to steward.
Today, Roland and I had to make the decision to move forward with surgery to fix his pelvis and amputate his tail, with the large possibility that he will be incontinent, or have him put down. Until you are faced with this position, you will never know how incredibly hard it is to make. Never mind the finances. There are other important considerations. Roland consulted with Floyd's regular vet who was faxed copies of the medical reports of his current condition. He also consulted with his old girlfriend who was around when Floyd was first brought home. That shows how torn Roland was about what to do. She said that Floyd's brother Vinnie whom she got custody of when they broke up, was acting very strange on the day of Floyd's accident - overly needy and clingy. Hmmmm. Feline collective unconsciousness, perhaps?
Now I know some folk think that spending all this money in the attempt to bring him back to somewhat functioning again is a waste of money and silliness. After all, he's just a cat, right? I embrace a different philosophy. No, cats aren't human but we feel that he has a right to life, like the rest of us and we have the means to help him. I know he doesn't understand what's happening to him, nor will express gratitude (except perhaps, in being home again). But he's a member of the family in feline form and we love him. He's obviously a tough little guy and a living, breathing entity and we feel a responsibility to try and make him whole again.
Now, quality of life is another matter. If his quality of life is to degraded, then we will have to rethink things. If he's not going to walk again, then that's another matter. You can't put a cat in a wheel chair. But, for now, if there's a level of hope, we will move forward. So what if we can't take that trip abroad we were planning on right now. We can take it later. We went and visited him yesterday, and got updated on his condition. He has reflexive movement in his back legs, so there's hope. He was happy to see us, purring and pussy-footing his blanket, although pretty doped up on pain killers.
Tomorrow or Thursday is surgery and then the long road to recovery for the little fella. Yes, I'll be helping him potty and probably spoon feeding him for a while. He'll be an indoor kitty from now on. We'll probably build him an outdoor enclosure of some sort, so he can get some fresh air.
One last thing. I've heard terrible stories of people who run over animals (by accident or otherwise) and then keep going. Look at how many hit and run drivers that have been on the news lately with just people involved! The woman who hit Floyd, and then was enormously compassionate enough to find his owner, and then give us a ride to the vet in time of need (it must have been extremely awkward for her) has greatly increased my somewhat low opinion of the existence of integrity and compassion in people. Call me a cynic, but it's too bad that there has to be a tragedy in order to see the humanity in humans, especially in the media. In talking with and listening to her share her experiences with pets, compassion is obviously a part of this woman's make up. I think if Floyd had to get hit by anyone, he was lucky enough to get hit by her.