"Quattro - Four on the Floor"
The Seventh Save of Christmas
What had happened to this beautiful, young Siamese boy? He showed up in a shelter, dragging a damaged rear leg. Probably he had been hit by a car. The X-rays showed a very bad fracture; the bone was splintered, not snapped. The shelter contacted me as a representative of Purebreds Plus. Did we have the time and energy to try to help him? They even offered a grant to cover the removal or repair of his leg. Of course, the answer was yes.
We took him to an experienced surgeon. Would he have to lose his silky, gorgeous brown leg? The surgeon said, “I will not know what I can do until I get in there and see the extent of the damage, but cats with three legs do fine”. We agreed, but said “Please try to save it. We are willing to put in the extra care and effort if it is possible.”
Fortunately, the surgeon found a clever way to insert a rod into the patient’s femur to stabilize the leg during the needed bone growth. We were so happy with this outcome that we named the cat Quattro to celebrate his beautiful 4 leggedness. But there were trials ahead: poor Quattro had to stay VERY quiet for at least 3.5 months while he recovered. This is called “cage rest,” and it’s especially difficult for a cat of an active breed. We all hurt for him, sympathizing with his boredom and discomfort. We also worried he would get fat with no exercise, so we gave him weight loss food. We tried hard to keep him entertained and spent time with him daily so he knew he was not alone. We gave him new boxes to sit in. It was just a very long, long time for the poor boy. He turned out to be quite a trooper.
Finally the day came when we could take Quattro in for a follow-up x-ray. His bone growth was so striking that even we could see it there holding his bone fragments together. We gradually allowed him exercise and a room he could walk around in, but his muscles had atrophied, and it took a while for him to re-learn to bear weight on that back leg. We encouraged him, loved him, and wiggled feathers. In the meantime, his fur was growing in. It grew in seal point brown, not his natural creamy color; this is what happens when you shave a Siamese. (The fur becomes cream colored again as months pass).
Eventually a wonderful family saw Quattro posted on our website, applied for him, and came to adopt him. It was love at first sight. A happy ending for all concerned, but especially for Quattro, who can now look forward to a long, healthy life with people who love and protect him.
In rescue, that cat is always the hero, but as Quattro’s story shows, it also takes a number of people in different roles to save a special cat in a dire situation:
You all helped make Quattro’s story a shining success. Thanks to each and every one of you.