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Saving Bongo's Leg

You never know what will come to pass when you rescue a kitten with a known physical problem. With King, we wondered if he'd been abused or if he was born deformed. Could he function better with a cart or prosthetic enhancements to his prematurely shortened hind limbs? In the end, King was perfect as he was born, missing the last inch or so of his legs and his paws. He does fine getting along on carpeting in his new home without any help or special surgery.

©2012 Maria S. Bongo enjoying a soft bed and freedom from the death row at the shelter.

With Bongo, our latest rescue, we have more questions than answers. Things we do know:

Bongo is NEGATIVE for FIV+ and Feline Leukemia.

Bongo is about seven months old.

We x-rayed his right front leg, which he does not use. His paw is warm, there is blood flow and sensation. There were no signs of major breaks but the x-ray could not detect any possible small fractures in the paw. The Vet felt amputation might be the best thing to do. If you watch the video, it's be clear his limb is slowing him down.

Thankfully, Bongo is also VERY FRIENDLY which will make whatever he needs medically, easier on him and foster mom, Maria.

©2012 Maria S. & Robin Olson. Bongo's first steps.

I've never had to give the OKAY to amputate an animal's limb before. I've only ever had one foster cat who had to have his right front leg removed. He was about Bongo's age and did very well after surgery. His leg had no sensation and was probably ruined in an accident, so in his case there was little to question.

X-ray of Bongo's Leg.

I realize there are some folks who would just take the leg without getting more definitive answers. It's a lot less expensive to take a leg off than it is to repair it. The recovery time is less and there are no chances of having to do a second surgery if the leg is already gone, instead of if the surgery is done badly.

Bongo Day One B.jpg
©2012 Maria S. Someday we hope Bongo will be able to run and play like any other kitten.


We need to take another step, out of respect for Bongo. I want him to see Dr. Alan Cross, an orthopedic Vet at Georgia Veterinary Specialists. An evaluation is discounted, but still expensive. I believe it's worth it to make certain there isn't something else we can do to save Bongo's leg.


We're doing a small fundraiser to cover the office visit and additional x-rays. Anything we don't use for this visit will be used for Bongo's future care. If you can donate the price of a cup of coffee to Bongo, it could mean a world of difference. Small donations pooled together can make big things happen!

We realize things are tight for everyone so if you can't donate, then would you please SHARE this post with your Bongo-loving friends?

Your donation is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE as my rescue, Kitten Associates is a 501©3 Non-Profit Cat Rescue.

If you'd prefer to send a check, please make it out to: Kitten Associates and please note on the check the funds should go to "Bongo" mail it to:

Kitten Associates
P.O. Box 354
Newtown, CT 06470-0354

Thank you and stay tuned for more updates on this sweet little guy.


I think you are doing the best thing for this youngster, so he can go on and lead a full and active life! It is a difficult decision only because of the 'social stigma' of handicaps, but don't let that sway you as he will not consider it such! Best to you, Teri

I think you're doing the right thing being *sure* he's better off w/o the leg by going further.  Thanks for all you do to care for the rescues! 


That sounds like the right thing to do, definately, for little Bongo.  Pls take the Dood's xrays along for a review.  I am sorry to say, I'm not such a fan of some of your vet's conclusions.  All the best.

Bongo is an adorable boy, and I'm sharing his video on my fb page in hopes that more fortunate souls will donate for him.  From the Xray it looks as if he has a chance of returning to quadrupedal status! *PRAYERS* <3

Maybe it's not his paw that bothers him.  His shoulder blade looks weird in that x-ray.  I hope the specialist will find out what's wrong and Bongo will get better.  He's adorable.

I myself have a tripod who had to have her rear right leg amputated.  I adopted her right after the operation.  Hers could not be saved.  It seems like Bongos got a chance of keeping his leg and considering 60 percent of their body weight is distributed to the front two legs its worth a shot!  Good luck I hope you can save this beautiful cats leg.

I just put in $50 and hope this helps little Bongo.  I'm a major cat lover.

I'm sorry to say that I don't think it's true that amputation is the best thing for Bongo and I sincerely hope you search your heart before committing to this.  I compare this to a paraplegic in a wheelchair "hey, those legs are useless and only dragging you down, let's cut them off so you don't have to drag them around anymore".  Seems wrong to me.  I know you're struggling with this and only want what's best for him, and I'm not trying to make your life harder, but please reconsider before you do something so drastic.  I'd try some physical therapy first and maybe get a second opinion.  I've seen miracle kitties who couldn't walk take their first steps and Bongo could be one of them!

I couldn't resist commenting. Well written!

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