Daisy - Three legs, One Hope
When Daisy was brought in, her right front leg was completely mangled. The student-rescuer said that the injured cat was bravely but weakly 'crawling' by the side of the road when she found her.
The PAWS vet decided that Daisy had to be brought to another clinic which had a special saw for the bad leg- nothing could be done for it except for it to be cut off.
It seemed that Daisy had sustained the injury at least a week before she was found. Volunteers were sure that part of the leg had rotted since they could smell it from the office - even if Daisy was several rooms away.
PAWS volunteers transported the hapless feline to Vets in Practice for the leg amputation.
The only way to travel with Daisy in a car was to drive with the windows completely open and volunteers had to partially thrust their heads out of the open car windows to keep from vomitting. The stench of Daisy's bad leg was overpowering.
After an hour and a half of travel with their heads dangerously peeking out of the car window, the brave crew managed to turn over Daisy to the vets of VIP for the operation that saved the cat's life.
When her wound had healed, a decision was made to put Daisy along with the 'normal' four-legged cats in the cattery.
The transfer was carefully supervised - with a lot of anxious eyes trained on the shelter's first tripod feline.
Would she be able to cope? Would she be bullied by the other cats?
To the observers' collective surprise, Daisy confidently swiveled to survey the new turf as she was 'released' into the enclosure. She proceeded to ably hobble to where the food bowls were to sniff them out. None of the cats seem to notice that anything was amiss.
In just a few days, Daisy could jump on to the benches and the ledges and cross the 'catwalk' that connects the indoor cattery to the outdoor cattery. Defying all our ideas of how a 'disabled' feline should move, Daisy did not hobble but moved gracefully as if her missing right front leg was still there.
Our favorite challenge to new volunteers is to see how quickly they can pick her out amidst the blur of gray tabby and white cats in the cattery.
Last week, a foreign visitor remarked in surprise to see that Daisy was still at the PAWS shelter a year and a half from her last visit.
"How come?" she asked us. "Tripods usually get adopted fairly quickly because they are different."
She looked normal to us now.
Daisy had adjusted well - maybe too well - for all of us to stop seeing her as 'differently-abled'. She was not among those chosen to be transferred to our newly-constructed "VIP Feline Ward" - where a handful of shelter cats with "special needs" were recently placed.
Because of the visitor's remark, we've started observing Daisy closely again these past few days.
Tell us if you'll notice the same thing when you visit --
In the late afternoons, when the sun begins to set: Daisy settles on one of the cattery ledges and stares peacefully out of the enclosure.
Tell us if you catch that wistful expression that we always do.
We suspect, nay, we know she thinks of the one thing that all shelter cats do. Whether they be three-legged or four-legged.
We know because, even for us bipeds, an old cliche rings true: That you aren't really whole until you've found someone to come home to. Or until that someone has found you.
Everyday the PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center cares for animals who are victims of cruelty and neglect.
Work like these need your support. Please donate. It will go a long way in helping homeless dogs and cats hoping for a second chance at a good life.
P 300 or US$ 7 (Staff & Volunteer Support)
will help sustain office and maintenance personnel that keep the shelter running
P 500 or US$ 12 (Utilities & Maintenance)
will help pay the rent, water, communication and electricity bills
P 1,000 or US$ 23 (Immediate Shelter Needs)
will help feed a shelter dog for one month or fully vaccinate a shelter dog or cat against diseases
P 3,000 or US$ 68 (Spay-Neuter Fund)
will help spay a female cat or dog preventing hundreds of unwanted kittens and puppies from being born
P 5,000 or US$ 113 (Medical Fund)
will help in the long-term veterinary treatment of an abused dog or cat, or any other animal in need of special care at our shelter