It's not often that we see a three legged cat at the Prairie's Edge Humane Society (PEHS), let alone two within two days. But that is what happened during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. On December 26th a small grey kitten approximately 6 months old was found wandering in Waterville and brought to the PEHS shelter. She was missing the lower portion of her left rear leg. It was a fresh wound and a very clean cut. She had no other injuries to her body and was otherwise in good health. Our veterinarian thought she may have gotten into a leg trap of some kind. We do not know for sure what happened to her but whatever caught her, the small bones in her leg snapped clear through. There were no other injuries or marks on her body which you would find if another animal or a car had caused the injury. Even though she had this severe injury she was surprisingly a very friendly and playful kitten, able to get around fairly well despite her condition. She was appropriately named "Tripod" by our staff. Because it was such a clean break, our shelter veterinarian only needed to clean up the wound and do a small cosmetic procedure so to speak to close it up and pull the skin over the wound with a few small sutures as it was already healing very well on its own.
Two days later, on December 28th, a small orange long haired kitten approximately 5 months old was found wandering the streets of Faribault and brought to the PEHS shelter. "Annie" as she was named by our shelter staff, was only walking on three of her four legs. Her left front leg was dangling and she was not using it at all. Our shelter veterinarian believed it was either an old injury of some kind or possibly a birth defect. She had muscle atrophy and possible nerve damage in the leg as she had no reaction to touching of the limb or a toe pinch to the foot. There was no neurological function of the leg. Again, just like Tripod, she had no other injuries and was otherwise in good health. It was decided that the best treatment for Annie would be to surgically remove the leg. Annie's leg was amputated at the shoulder by our shelter veterinarian. The next day Annie was bright eyed and chasing a plastic ball across the floor already. She thinks she should be running around playing however we are doing our best to slow her down for a few more days yet!
Both kittens are being closely monitored to prevent any infections and to make sure they are not experiencing any pain. It is amazing how quickly each kitten is recovering from their specific injuries. They are both playful, cuddly and purring constantly. They have both adapted to life with only three legs very quickly. They greet us when we approach their kennels by rolling over on their backs for a belly tickle and meowing at us, just waiting to be held or to play. The are always happy to see anyone and love lots of attention which they are receiving from everyone at PEHS. They have even made friends with our other special needs resident, Joy the Min Pin (see photos). Again, we see the spirit and resilience of animals. The smallest of babies just a few months old, able to heal, forgive and still show love after trauma. Something so small and helpless can also be so brave and strong.
As it is with most animals that have come to the PEHS shelter as a stray, we do not know what actually happened to either Tripod or Annie as they cannot tell us. What we do know is that they are now safe and being cared for both medically and emotionally. Prairie's Edge Humane Society is more than just an animal shelter. We care for the sick, the injured and those that need us the most. Tripod and Annie are both doing very well and we are hopeful that we will be able to announce very soon that these kittens are available for adoption.
You can help Tripod, Annie and the other animals at the Prairie's Edge Humane Society by donating on line via our website at www.prairiesedgehs.org.