This morning, while doing my morning rounds, the kitties all came out to say hello.
Then I saw Ginger.
Walking on three legs.
His right front leg was dangling and swinging in a most unfortunate way.
I tried to go to him, but he “ran” away. I didn’t want to risk losing track of him or hurting him more, so I went inside. My younger daughter was handy, so I told her about it, and she went outside with the cat carrier to try and catch him, while I called the vet clinic.
The doctor was in surgery at the time, so we were told to bring him in for 3pm. My daughter had caught Ginger, and we had a few hours, so we set him up in the sun room, where he would be safe and we could check on him through the bathroom window.
It was encouraging to see that he had jumped up onto the swing bench to nap in a sun spot. Also, his injured leg is not visible in the photo. He’s lying on that shoulder.
I had hopes that it might not be too bad. After all, he wouldn’t be lying on the injury if it was really bad, right?
So we brought him to the vet and my daughter went in, because she can wear a mask. She texted me updates whenever she was able. At first, the doctor thought there might be a dislocation, but they had to sedate him to take x-rays. He is the friendlier of the litter, but he’s not fully socialized, by any means, so it took a bit longer for them to examine him.
What the x-rays revealed was a badly broken elbow. What the doctor thought was a dislocation was a broken bone, sitting on top of another bone.
Not only was it a very bad break, but in a very bad spot.
We were presented with two options. One was a surgical repair. The last time the doctor had gone that route, it ended up costing $2200. The other option was amputation. My daughter texted me while they looked up the cost of that, but my immediate reaction was that an amputation would be far less traumatic.
For the amputation, we got two estimates. Which it would be depends on if it takes 2 or 3 hours to amputate, and how difficult things turn out to be. The price range was just over $1300, to just over $2000.
At that point, they woke him up to give him more pain killers so we could take him home and talk about it. Once in the vehicle, my daughter was able to give me more information. The surgical repair is something they couldn’t even be sure would work, largely due to the placement of the break and how bad it is.
Oh, and we did ask what they thought might have caused the injury. He clearly had not been in any sort of fight. They think it was most likely a really bad fall. 😦
The problem isn’t deciding what action to take, but how to pay for it. Even the money set aside for the garden soil and the emergency fund together would cover the lower amount, but that would screw us over for all our gardening, repair and maintenance plans over the summer. I don’t think I’ll even tell my family about it. Their response would be to have him put down – and not necessarily having the vet do it, for the gun owners.
We’re not going to do that.
In fact, what we’re likely going to do is have him fixed and, after the surgery, turn him into an indoor cat.
Hopefully, the vet will let us make monthly payments. However, I have also done something I have had quite a few people recommend I do over the past several years. I’m loath to do it, but for the kitties, I will.
You may have noticed a new button at the top of the column on the right. We now have a donation page set up with Ko-fi. Anyone who would like to support taking care of the kitties can click and donate any amount they wish.
Currently, I’ve got a fundraising goal of $1300. If it costs more, we should be able to cover it. If we raise more than the goal, it will go towards getting Ginger fixed so we can bring him inside. My older daughter tells me she’s planning to open up to more commissions to raise funds, too. There are only so many she can take at the same time, though.
Tomorrow, we call the vet back and talk about setting up the amputation and payment options. Until then, we’ve set up the sun room for Ginger’s convalescence, and he is there now. In fact, my daughter just have him the first of the treat flavoured painkillers we brought home with him, which he is to get every 24 hours.
Because the swing bench is a favourite place for the cats to nap, we moved it around and set up “stairs” for him to use, so he doesn’t have to jump up onto it, as he had in the earlier photo I took.
The poor broken baby! He’s being remarkably calm and stoic about the whole thing.
Pretty soon, we might have to consider changing his name from Ginger to Tripod! 😉