This is the story of Ann. She was born a feral cat and lived behind an elderly lady’s house in Smithfield, RI. The lady and her husband fed her and another cat that were living in the same area. This led to Ann having two kittens in the spring of 2015.
About 2 months after she had her kittens, she was suddenly unable to use her back legs. There were no visible injuries but according to the vets this type of injury is almost always from a physical trauma such as being hit by a car.
The lady in Smithfield reached out to a Pawswatch volunteer, but before he could get out there she had Smithfield Animal Control pick her up and hold her for us. The Animal Control Officer in Smithfield is very good at working with rescues so we were able to pull her from the shelter and get her medical attention.
After being evaluated by one of our partner vets, Care For Animals in Warwick, RI, the outlook was not good. Ann would likely remain unable to walk, making her unacceptable for TNR, which is Pawswatch main mission. Being unable to run from predators we could not release her after the normal spay and shots package we get for these cats. She was a also a poor candidate for adoption as a special needs cat who could not do more than pull herself around on her front legs, could not really use the cat box and had to have her bladder manually emptied 2-3 times a day. The only treatment that could be given was steroids in hopes of restoring some motion in the hind legs. The Pawswatch volunteer involved worked with Care For Animals and they agreed to hold her for 10-14 days while a foster or adopter was searched for as the only other option was euthanasia.
Reaching out through a network of rescues (Trish’s Transports) that our volunteer sometimes works with, he was able to find a foster home at the 11th hour and a few days later Ann was delivered to her foster home in Connecticut.
And yes, miracles do sometimes happen. Over the next two weeks after some initial struggles at the foster, Ann began to regain motion in her hind legs and was able to walk for short distances, sit and began using the cat box on her own. She also turned out to have a very sweet disposition. To the point where the foster fell in love with her and has chosen to adopt her permanently. Since that point Ann has continued to improve and we are very hopeful she’ll regain full or close to full strength. Perhaps it was the love showered on her by the foster that was the extra ingredient to her healing, we’ll never know. What we do know is Ann is steadily improving and has a forever home of her very own.
Pawswatch works hard to help all cats that we come across. Ann is a fine example of the work we do when TNR is not the appropriate response.