2013-06-26 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

We all know that timing, even seconds, can be the difference between life and death. This Good Samaritan was already late for work. If she had been on time, chances are she would never have noticed the tiny white kitten stepping off the curb into the busy Wy andan ch street; and chances are I wouldn’t be typing this story.

In last week’s “Pets,” you may have seen the photo of the adorable kitten found with the deep puncture wound. Or you might have read the shared Babylon Shelter Facebook post defining “munificence” as cooperative generosity, or the Last Hope comment on the Babylon Facebook post, adding a plea for people to pray for “Maggie,” a longhaired white kitten with baby blue eyes, both written before she even had a name. At that time we weren’t sure this cutie was going to survive her injury. Now, we just KNOW she will.

On June 14 while on her way to work in Melville, Regina, a kind lady, noticed a six-week-old puffball stepping away from a sump into traffic on Little East Neck Road at the intersection of Patton Avenue. She turned her car around and drove back to try to grab the kitten before she was hit by a car.This kitten wouldfit in the palm of your hand.

Maggie Maggie Regina saw the kitten dart under a tarp, and then she saw all the blood. Aghast and frustrated, she called her husband (a policeman) and then 911. A squad car arrived with two young officers who told her they would take over because it wasn’t safe for her to be searching on such a busy road.

The policemen caught the kitten and took her to nearby Babylon Shelter where it was discovered the kitten had a gaping wound covered with maggots in her hind quarters. It was hard to fathom how she was alive. Despite her old injury, the kitten was friendly, spunky and hungry, wolfing down two thirds of a can of Fancy Feast. When you picked her up, all you could feel were bones.

The shelter rushed the kitten to their vet, but the usual doctor wasn’t there. The vet on duty said her injury was too complex, and that the kitten should be euthanized. Kristin the animal control officer couldn’t let that happen, so she called Last Hope. Her graphic phone photos (as well as the cute one in last week’s column) clinched the deal.

Last Hope made arrangements for the kitten to go to Grady Animal Hospital in Sayville. Kristin delivered her and stayed while the staff began to rid her of the infestation. Kristin realized the wound was even more invasive than she thought. Dr. Mark Caporaso felt the injury was an abscess that had ruptured and thenfilled with maggots, perhaps deepening the injury. Luckily the location of the puncture didn’t interfere with any bodily functions. Once cleaned, the wound would stay open to the air - no stitches or packing. Dr. Mark admitted her to his hospital, and said the tissue would take time to heal.

The kitten was a favorite of his caring staff who named her “Maggie” for obvious reasons.They suspected a dog may have attacked her. Two days later she weakened after becoming hypothermic. She was placed on a heating pad. Her condition was guarded.

By the end of the week “Maggie” had improved, tested FeLV/FIV negative and regained her hearty appetite. She was ready to leave the hospital. She was no longer on IV.The only precaution was to use “Yesterday’s News,” the recycled newspaper pellet litter, rather than clay or flushable litter that could stick to her open wound.

Meanwhile Regina, Maggie’s rescuer, checked with the shelter to see how the kitten was doing. She was delighted to learn that Last Hope had taken her. Since she coincidentally lives in Sayville, she asked if she could visit Maggie at the hospital so she could actually meet her.

Regina visited Grady shortly before the Last Hope foster Mom arrived to take her home. “My husband and I got to meet Maggie yesterday!Thanks so much for arranging our visit with the vet. She is so precious and adorable! I can’t believe how bad her wound is and that she has such a strong, determined spirit. I feel so fortunate that I was able to help with her rescue and get her the help that she so desperately needed,” said Regina who also mentioned that she and her husband were considering fostering or perhaps adopting Maggie if they could integrate her into their household with a nine-year-old cat and a three-year-old dog.

Well, we can certainly try integrating Maggie. Rescue organizations’ interactions with animal hospitals and town shelters often become “package deals." Regina doesn’t know yet that when Linda the Last Hope president went to visit Maggie at Grady, she took three younger kittens convalescing there to Last Hope in Wantagh.

One person’s act of caring can set off a chain of compassion. Because one person cared enough to stop to help a defenseless creature and another cared enough to try to save her, “Maggie” now has a chance at having a wonderful, full life, as do the kittens in a younger feline family, riding on her coattails.

Babylon Town Shelter Adoptables (631-643-9270): Available at 51 Lamar Street, W. Babylon- Now that it’s summer, “Holly” #13-327 goes out into the shelter yard with a blanket and dreams of being at the beach. If only someone would take her home and make her dream come true. “Louie” #3-269, a delightful declaw, was turned into the shelter because of serious family illness.

Dogs: f. Pomeranian #13-356; “Ebony” #13-309 f. black Shepherd; f. Jack Russell #13-367 found in Amityville; “Elmer” #13-297- older Pit found lying in the road in Wyandanch. Elmer talks and tells you his tale of woe.

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