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Caught on Camera

Viewed-from-my-window-BillyConcern was growing for a beautiful cat whose coat looked like charcoal velour and who had been visiting for about six weeks. We rarely saw him to start with, just a glimpse here or there, walking across the patio, eating by the back door, resting on the driveway, and always showing up on the ‘spy-cam’ set up in the barn, but we had not seen him for 2-3 days so I played the video card once again and there he was…dragging a broken leg! Panic stations! Where was he now? We had to find him! We were so thankful that he knew where to come for food, but if it wasn’t for the camera we would not have realized he was in trouble.

We started a search and looked everywhere we could think of, knowing he could not have gone far, as he could barely walk and must have been in considerable pain, but search as we may, we could not find him. I decided to wait. The ‘spy-cam’ showed he came to the barn for food at about 7pm, so a trap was instigated. He would come into the barn through a hole in the wall, so we placed a makeshift door held open by a piece of string that could be released to close the door as soon as he entered. I took my place out of sight of the trap, ready and waiting for his arrival. Sure enough he came through the hole in the wall dragging his broken leg. I let the string go and the trap door closed his exit. I now needed to catch him but I was worried he might panic. I waited to let him eat his food but then he disappeared into the unlit and cavernous barn.

It was midnight when a search with a torch revealed he had made his way to a comfy settee. He obviously knew his way around. We closed the door and the cat-flap on this area so that he could spend a comfortable night on this settee and we would know where he was when we came for him in the morning.

Next morning we had to get this untamed feral cat, into a small catching cage, and consider the pain and predicament he was in. I went in to see him and he had not moved all night. The catching cage was placed outside and covered the cat-flap in the door. There was only one way out, and that was into the cage. When he saw me come for him, he panicked and took off, running straight to the door, hesitated for a moment, then went into the cage. We had him!

X-rays revealed he had indeed broken his leg in more than one place and had also sustained bruising to his cheek and his tongue. The advice from the Vet was to amputate his broken leg rather than try and mend the breaks. The injury was already three days old so complications may set in. I was concerned that if his leg comes off, it cannot be put back again! Was this really the only solution under the circumstances? We had not anticipated an amputation, but the Vet assured me that cats do well on three legs, however a feral cat would normally be put to sleep as he could not survive on his own. We very reluctantly agreed to the amputation and we decided to take responsibility for his care. Secretly I hoped and prayed the poor cat would forgive me for saying ‘yes’ to the loss of his front leg, The ‘spy-cam’ saved this cat’s life!

Viewed-from-my-Window-May-2011-book-cover

The full story and many more are in the book “Viewed From My Window” by Patricia Oliver price £12.50 + £2.50 p&p. For more details, contact Patricia on 01202 826244. All proceeds go towards the Veterinary and Welfare needs of the 16 feral cats currently in her care.