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NOT ON MY WATCH: Rescuing Rawhide

The past 36 hours have been nuts behind the scenes here at Covered in Cat Hair. Initially I was working on rescuing one kitty and within a few hours it turned into three kitties needing help. This is the story of one of those kitties.

Tuesday night I started getting text messages from Maria. Her sister-in-law's friend found an injured cat. They didn't know what to do and weren't going to take it to a Vet. His left front leg was DANGLING and he had a bloody wound under his shoulder. He was acting okay otherwise so they LET HIM BACK OUTSIDE since they didn't want an indoor cat. Fortunately, for him, he came back that night, but they had no intentions of helping him other than rinsing off the wound with saline.

Maria and I started a frantic dialog trying to sort out what our options were. Maria was already taking another cat for me, plus we are going to possibly take in a second cat who needs help, too. Maria started calling and texting everyone she could while I offered her suggestions about how we could get this cat vetted in the morning and what we were going to do next while I was trying to sort out how much money we had and how much it was going to cost to help this cat-without knowing if he needed delicate restoration on his leg or an amputation.

The kitty after the family found him.You can see his left front leg looks a bit odd and he appears to be uncomfortable.

MaryEllen at Winging Cat Rescue offered to foster him for a few weeks if we got the cat vetted. I wasn't even sure we had any funds to do this, but it can't wait. He needed help NOW. Maria sent me photos and they broke my heart. I won't share the gorey photo with you, but the cat was clearly going to lose his leg, we just needed to get him help before it was too late.

I spent the night worrying about what to do. How would I find homes for two handicapped cats? Well, I just would. It would work out. Worry about it later. The cats needed care right away so we would just focus on that.

Wednesday morning I got an update.The orange tabby needed to have his leg removed, including the shoulder. He had puncture wounds under his arm and was battling a massive infection. A DOG or WILD ANIMAL had been trying to rip his leg off. As someone still recovering from a cat bite to my hand, I understood the severity of the situation. The tabby hadn't had antibiotics for a few days. He didn't have much time left before the infection spread to his heart and killed him. I was told he was a very very sweet cat, which somehow made the news even worse. Even if they put him on antibiotics and let his wounds heal, it would be a week before he could have any surgery done to correct his leg and it was likely the nerves were severed and could not be repaired. I think it was just too far gone for too long.

goodbye leg.jpg
Making the very difficult decision…

Winging Cat Rescue offered to take the cat into their program. In a way I was disappointed that we couldn't help him more, but they have much better resources than I do. They've named him Rawhide and once he's had time to recover from his injury he will be put up for adoption. If you'd like to know more about how to give this very sweet and mellow kitty a home, or help with his Vet care, please contact WCR or visit their website.

As for the kitty who is our latest rescue, get your box of tissues out. The next post is going to be tougher to read than this one, but also reveals some amazing surprises.


Update: The family who took the cat into their home, who said they couldn't afford Vet care for Rawhide and let him basically suffer for a few days, said their child has formed a bond with the cat and they want to adopt him…but they have three dogs and they will let the cat go back outdoors since they don't want an "inside" cat. While I think it's very nice they want to adopt, I hope Rawhide finds a home with a family who can be sensitive to his needs and be able to provide for all aspects of his well being. This is a lovely cat who's been through Hell. He deserves a safe and loving environment and I hope he finds one soon.


I keep hoping some day people will realize that cats DO NOT belong outside.  Rawhide wouldn't have been a chew toy if he was kept inside.  He wouldn't be facing amputation if he was kept inside.  I hope they don't let this family who doesn't want an inside cat adopt. 

Regardless of the 'bond' the daughter formed with the cat, Rawhide deserves a home where he can be INSIDE!  There is NO WAY he'd survive outside with 3 legs - because look what happened when he had 4 in that area where he was found!

In rescue, my creed has always been I want every cat I touch to be better off than before I touched him- this cat is better off now, but going to a family that will let him out unable to defend himself, is not thinking clearly- and they need to be able ( and willing!) to provide veterinary care for him, which they clearly did not see the value of in his darkest hour. Bless you Winging Cat Rescue, and you too Robin! XOXOXOXo

I agree. Domestic cats belong indoors. They are bred to be house pets, not feral beings living off the land. How do we know it wasn't one of the person's own dogs who did this? Certain breeds are notorious for dining on cats. I can't count how many stories I'd heard over the years from my sister, who used to live on a farm, raise Great Danes, and always had half-wild litters of outdoor kittens running around. Stories about how "such and such dog got out of the kennel, and got another kitten" or "a kitten got too close to the kennel". I had to harden myself for a long time and remember to never get attached to any of the cats around her place.

This poor orange boy's tale hurts me more than the tuxedo cat. King grew up that way and for the most part deals with it. This orange one was a normal, four-legged happy cat until something chomped on him and ruined his life. The pain in his eyes...

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