Lucky (AKA SpiderMan), wearing a mask of spiderwebs
Last Tuesday afternoon (October 13, 2009), our dear cat Lucky
was shot at close range with a high impact pellet gun. I believe that this incident occurred less than 200 feet from my own home, as I watched Lucky running back toward our home with a terrified look on his face (dragging one useless leg) while I stood on my porch. When I was finally able to corner him and pick him up (he hid in a deep, dark recess of my workshop), Lucky’s front left leg swung flaccidly from his body. I knew something was terribly wrong. Lucky was rushed to emergency, where it was discovered that he had a badly shattered front left humerus. The
Lucky's shattered humerus and pellet circled in red
emergency room veterinarian believed that Lucky was hit by a car (which I doubted due to lack of sufficient evidence), while the surgeon confirmed that the pellet visible on the radiograph was indeed the cause of the fracture. Lucky had surgery the following morning, during which he was implanted with a pin, a plate, nine screws, and ten staples to
Post surgery, with hardware
package it all up. The second radiograph at left shows Lucky’s front left leg with its new accouterments. It’s not easily visible on these small resolution jpegs, but the repair was not perfect, and there are still bits of bone fragments floating around in there due to the explosive nature of the pellet’s impact. We’re told that this should all consolidate during the healing process. Good thing that Lucky is still young.
Lucky had his one week checkup yesterday, and the surgeon is very pleased with how things
Four shaved legs (for IV's), a quarter-shaved body, and ten staples
are coming along, although Lucky must still endure another seven weeks of solitary confinement with severely restricted movement. As you might imagine, Lucky’s surgery and follow-up have cost us a few thousand dollars (so far). My preemptive reply to those who will undoubtedly question WHY we would spend this kind of money on “just a cat”: what dollar value do you place on life?
Shauna and I have eight cats and one loving pit bull (Mojave). All have been rescued from the mean streets and certain death. As anyone can likely imagine, our annual animal care costs are in the thousands, and a trauma like this pushes the budget way over the edge. Sometimes I think we’re crazy for taking in nine animals, but I accept the St. Francis-like events that have followed me through my entire life (rescuing innumerable domestic animals and wildlife along the way). And then I remind myself that someone has to be there (thankfully there are many of us) to speak and care for those who have been treated with negligence and irreverence by a more highly evolved(?) species.
Shauna and I have filed a report with the police and have queried much of the neighborhood to no avail. Justice will likely never be served, but thank goodness for Karma.
The most interesting aspect of this whole event has been the overwhelming compassion and generosity displayed by friends AND strangers alike. Unbeknownst to me, my good friend Guy wrote about Lucky on his blog and requested donations to help with Lucky’s care. The response has been surprising, amazing, and international in scope, and I am truly humbled by the outpouring of compassion. Shauna, Lucky, and I sincerely THANK everyone for their concern and contributions. Just when I’m about ready to give up hope for my species, this outpouring of love and compassion reminds me that people are indeed beautiful. May our beauty rid the world of the evil scourge that causes intentional harm to humans and animal alike.
I’ll continue to post updates about Lucky as they become available.
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