Poor little Sasha got hit by a car sometime yesterday.
Having personal experience of being hit by cars I know it’s not pleasant. But in my humble experiences I’ve never been left with broken bones and internal injuries and spent god-knows how many hours lying, hungry and in obvious agony, completely immobile (and with no real comprehension of what this means) in the dirt underneath the house next door.
She wandered out around 8:30am and when she didn’t come in for dinner I went out looking for her a few times but wasn’t too concerned. At about 8:00pm I was home alone — Dee was at the movies — and I got a call from our neighbour saying the cat was behaving strangely and was under their house. I raced over and immediately I knew she had to see a vet right away. She stank of her own shit, her paws were covered in mud and I remembered when my old cat Moochey was at death’s door, and she didn’t have the strength to clean herself.
My neighbour Julian told me he had just gone downstairs and noticed the cat lying there in the dirt meowing like she was trying to tell him something.
Picking her up she protested a little, but in my arms I could actually hear her purring. I could see no signs of blood and was pretty much convinced she had an infection – like from a possum bite.
I put her down on the kitchen floor and was about to close the bedroom door (so she couldn’t escape) but when she just collapsed into a lying position – I knew she was in no condition to move an inch – let alone the 10 metres to her cat-door.
I gave her some of her favourite super-crunchies (the dry-food treats) but she wasn’t interested. I looked her over again and found no injuries – no signs of bites. Cause I was a bit boozy I rang Dee’s parents and hoped one of them was right to drive. Mary-Anne was a bit pissy and I said, “Put Terry on.” Luckily Tez was sweet to drive and he said he knew where to take her – the University of Queensland emergency vet clinic.
So I got the cat-carrier out, put her in – which she hated. Just before this, she did manage to swallow a few pieces of ham – she loves ham – but then she suddenly wasn’t interested.
Then we went outside and waited. Another neighbour came home and we had a chat. He had heard a cat fight last night and I was more convinced than ever that it was an infection. I kept thinking of how Moochey had once been bitten in the hind leg and had got an infection which had made her quite sick and required a similar late-night rush to a after-hours vet.
So Terry was here and the cat started the usual HOWLING she does when she has to travel by car. But you could tell her heart wasn’t quite in it and she actually went quiet a few times. We got stopped by a booze-bus on the way and the police officer was like, “What’s in the cage?” “A sick cat. We’re taking her to the vet.” He seemed genuinely concerned — good on him. He was a ginger which I think should be noted.
At UQ we rang the bell and a tiny woman came out and ushered us in to a consultation room. She examined the cat and asked a few questions and suddenly she was saying it is almost certain that the cat has been hit by a car. I was quite shocked to hear this and I must admit got a bit teary at the realisation of what the cat had gone through, and what this all meant. The vet went on: she had a broken hip – possibly more fractures and internal injuries. Nerve damage was a possibility and because she couldn’t feel the bladder – a rupture in thatregion was a high probability. She paused at one stage and held her nose, “I’m sorry, I’m actually allergic to cats.” TRUE STORY.
I was glad at this bizarre interlude to the conversation cause I was at some risk of losing all composure. So then I concentrated hard and managed to ask a few questions but inside I was pretty upset and I am sure the vet could see my eyes were getting a bit sweaty.
I hadn’t even considered that a car might have done this. The cat has always been ultra street savvy. Indeed all the neighbours I talked to today said the same thing. Anyway – it’s an impossibly narrow street we live on and there’s plenty of leadfoots around who think the 50k speed limit is a challenge and think re-enacting the scenes where the Millennium Falcon is tearing through the asteroid field is actually a good idea in a neighbourhood street.
Anyway. I am not going to get all “blamey”. This stuff happens. I could easily just wrap myself up in cotton-wool and walk around with a stack-hat on my head, but I don’t want to do that. And I don’t expect the cat to do that either. I am a dirty that whomever did this didn’t stop. I was home all day. If I had hit a cat and the cat had run off – I would knock on doors and attempt to alert the owners. That’s just the way I was brought up.
The time she went missing and I letterboxed the neighbourhood
Meanwhile I managed to get in touch with Dee and told her to cab it to UQ. After she arrived we said goodbye to Sash while she was in the ER section. The vet showed us another strikingly similar cat – just with extra hair – that was in another cage. We managed to LOL.
The delicate question of how much money her treatment would cost was then raised. It was $800-$1000 and that was just for the weekend stay. The bill for her surgery, ultrasounds and whatever else awaits. To be honest I didn’t really care. I consider myself “rich”. I don’t earn anywhere near a 6 figure salary, but I am so lucky to have an income that means I have a decent bit left over after all the bills are paid.
Back at home I googled what I could about feline hip injuries and there wasn’t much information. It remains a mystery just what her rehabilitation will mean. I joked to Dee that she might need one of those “cones”. I hope she doesn’t but it will be a tiny bit funny if she does.
At 12:30am I was woken by a call from the vet asking me if I would authorise an (expensive) ultrasound. At the beginning I was barely lucid, but I got my shit together eventually and worked out what was being said. “It’s cool – do whatever you need to do,” I replied.
In the morning we phoned and got an update and were told we could visit whenever we wanted. At about 3pm we rocked up and a lovely lady led us in. Sasha’s cage-door had her drip attached and one of those serious-looking heart/blood pressure monitors. Sasha stood up as best she could when the door opened and she looked happy. She was purring. The vet explained she was “hepped-up on goof-balls” – not her words, but you get the picture. Both front legs were shaved, she had a drip in one leg and her belly and underneath her neck was shaved (no doubt for the ultrasounds). Her food bowl looked like she had eaten some of it.
She was a tiny bit spooked by the dogs in the other cages and seemed to get a bit angry that we weren’t there to take her home. Eventually she sat down towards the back of the cage and looked almost comfortable.
The vet said she had a tiny bit of internal bleeding, but rest and self-healing might sort that out. It looks like she will be OK. Just not sure when “OK” will be.
Surgery on her hip gets done on Monday and after that — I don’t know.
Zoe – 6 years old, who lives next door – made Sasha a card. IMPOSSIBLY CUTE. Thanks Zo.