You are here

The Sad Truth about Bongo

If we didn't have the power of imagination just think about what a dull world it would be. We'd probably all still be living in a cave, wearing animal hides. There are times, though when I wish I didn't have the ability to imagine, especially when it comes to thinking about our latest rescue, Bongo.

X-ray of Bongo's damaged leg.

In the week we've had Bongo, I've only heard good things about him. The first few days made me sad when I heard he stayed in his litter pan, comforted by his own scent-something common to cats who are confined in cages at animal shelters. In time, Bongo realized he was safe and loved and began to spend his days relaxing on a soft bed or playing with toys. He walked holding his right front leg off the ground. It doesn't seem to function properly. You can see a video of it HERE.

If you compare the front legs, you can tell one has good muscle mass and one does not.

Yesterday Bongo met with Dr. Alan Cross, a noted Orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Cross reviewed Bongo's x-rays and did a careful and thorough examination.

He felt that Bongo had severe nerve damage and muscle wasting in his leg from a trauma of some kind. Most likely from someone grabbing his leg and twisting it backward. It wasn't enough force to break the shoulder, but it was enough to destroy the nerves.

It could NOT have been from being hit by a car. Bongo's leg had to be grabbed and twisted by force.

Muscle wasting.

I tried not to imagine who did this to him or why. I tried not to imagine that this person is still doing this to other cats. I did allow myself to imagine what I'd do to the person if I ever could find out who did this to such a sweet and innocent creature.

Bongo Day One B.jpg
©2012 Maria S. Sweet Bongo.

Dr. Cross felt the best solution in this situation would be to amputate Bongo's leg. It's only in his way and over time it will become more and more of a hinderance. Bongo has NO sensation in his paws, which we originally thought he had. I've never had to make this choice for an animal and I'm not overjoyed it has come to pass. For Bongo, I will do whatever it takes to help him live the most comfortable life possible.

If there was any way we could save his leg, it would be done. I know Bongo won't mourn the loss of his leg as we will because we can imagine what life he could have had, but perhaps we can begin to imagine a new life, on three legs, that can be just as full of love and joy as it would have been on four.


Are you familiar with the Cat House on the Kings  - look up on Facebook and follow the story of Marmalady - she's a tripod kitten like Bongo will be and she's just moved to Canada with her new momma into her furever home.  She's got a great, full kitten life.  Bongo will find the same love and attachment and will have a great life!


Sorry this has come to pass for you and Bongo.

If it's in his way and it's of no use to him, then he's better off without it.  It's a damn shame he had the injury to begin with, but you can't turn back time and fix it for him.  You can only look forward and continuing making his future better.  I've seen cats and dogs missing limbs and they do wonderful.  (((((hugs))))) and gentle purrs to Bongo!

Precious little Bongo is lucky to have you looking out for him! Cats do really well after amputation, especially when they're young. We have Luke at our rescue in AZ who lost a front leg and he gets around remarkably well and is very strong, playful, and energetic. Imagine THAT for Bongo!

This makes me extremely sad and extremely angry at the same time.  What's best for Bongo is important now.  What would have been best is not to torture him and let him grow up normally.  There are some real monster humans out there and I wish we could do something about them.

*PRAYERS* ongoing and love outpouring for Bongo.  Bless his heart! What a sweet little man, and so irresistibly cute.  In a sane and compassionate society, every cat and kitten would automatically be helped when necessary, and homed for life, and anyone doing any harm to any cat would be shunned by that society, and dealt with legally and accordingly in a much tougher manner than this society does.   Having said that, I'd be right with you if the scumbag was ever identified who did this to Bongo (and all of the others like this scumbag).

On to more positive energy, hoping and praying that you are able to do everything necessary to give this sweet little man the very best life possible.  Tripods can do extremely well.  I'm sure you know about Best Friends in Utah and their special needs cats, as an example.

The very best to Bongo, and to you, too.  

I wept when I read how Bongo's leg must have been twisted and pulled. I am an ostrich when it comes to cruelty to animals. I have to change channels or turn the page as I can't get the images out of my mind for ever after. Thank goodness there are people made of sterner stuff - I wish I was one of them.  I am very kind but sadly a wimp.

Is Bongo in pain from the nerve damage which I assume is irreversible? He has such a sad face it breaks my heart. I hope the amputation will give him relief if he is in pain and he won't have to carry that useless leg around. 

Please send him a great big cuddle from me and I hope all goes well with his operation.

Barbara UK

People suck!!  Or Some People I should say.  I hope that whoever did that to this sweet little creature has some suffering to endure!

Thank God that Bongo has been rescued and will be loved and cared for now.

Hey there! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the fantastic work!

A cat does fine with 3 legs. I had two 3-legged cats, one was an approximately 9 month old kitten who had his right rear leg cut off just above the hock by some kind of trauma & he was dumped at the place I bought dog food & they asked me to take him. I took him, the vet did a proper mid-femur amputation on his leg & he lived a full happy healthy active long life. Being 3-legged caused him to stand with his one good hindleg centered to balance his body, resulting in a natural arched back appearance & some very cute natural Halloween cat photos when I was taking pics of my son then a toddler, in an orange Halloween pumpkin suit & the cat Mistai got up & stood on top of the chair my son sat in. The second cat was one a neighbor had. The cat was hit by a car & his left leg was necrotic complete with exposed bones. The neighbor said take the cat, they didn't care what I did with them but they weren't going to spend any money taking a cat to the vet. I took the cat, had him vetted, his left rear leg was properly amputated high on the femur above the necrotic tissue etc. He healed just fine & also lived a long active life. I also had a 3-legged German Shepherd Dog, an accidental amputation by a first time mother. The second puppy was coming breech and in her haste to clean the puppy & chew the cord, the mother bit through the right rear leg of the puppy, crushing the leg and severing the leg in multiple places. Before that puppy was 24 hours old, she had undergone a correct amputation of the right rear leg. Tripod, as she was called, was as agile & strong as any of the normal 4-legged dogs. She could keep up with the other dogs easily. She astounded me & others by her capability to go over a 6 foot kennel fence, 6 foot usually being high enough to hold all but the most determined climbers. I've also had two blind cats, a deaf cat, & several broken pelvis hit-by-car victims. At present I have a cat who survived brain damage from being hit by a car, a one-eyed cat & a cat who was brought to me with a broken pelvis & nerve damage in her right rear leg from being hit by a car. The pelvis of this most recent cat is healing fine but it takes a long time for nerves to heal so at this point I'm doing physical therapy on her right rear leg and it remains to be seen if she'll regain enough nerve function to be able to use the leg again or whether the leg will have to be amputated. After all my experiences with handicapped cats, a handicapped dog, and a one-legged English Sparrow who I rescued out of a storm as a hatchling (his right leg was damaged beyond repair & had to be amputated & that one-legged little bird functioned just fine!) I have to say that Bongo should do fine and live a full happy long life as a 3-legged cat & probably be as ornery as any 4-legged cat!

I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but
your blogs really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. Cheers

Add new comment