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Gibson !!! LIVE and in Catson doing the Happy Dance !!!

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Uploaded on Sep 19, 2010

After 1 ½ years of healing from traumatic wounds, Gibson tastes freedom!

In February '09 Gibson stumbled onto a pile of garbage while looking for something to eat. Digging thru trash he got caught in a monofilament onion bag. It grabbed one leg & as he tried to struggle free, it grabbed his other front leg & wrapped around his neck. He rolled, kicked, fought & it got tighter. So tight he could hardly walk or breathe, it cut into his armpits & chest. He thought the monster would win & he'd die.

Hungry & skinny, he'd been on the streets for awhile. He smelled tuna. Tuna? Tuna! There was a nearby trap where a TNR project was underway. Maybe the feral colony is why someone chose this place to dump him. It happens to house kitties a lot. Their hoomans don't want them & dump them where they see other cats. House kitties don't have street smarts, they don't speak feral, they often die when dumped.

But Gibson's story, though pretty dire, will end on a happy note, in a year & a 1/2.

He drug himself to the trap hoping to eat before life was strangled out of him or the cuts were deep enough to bleed to death. WHAM he was trapped. This added to his fright. He rolled & fought, the onion bag tangled in the trap causing it to cut deeper under his arms, across his chest.

In the morning a hooman found a blood soaked badly damaged cat who looked dead. As she stared in horror he lifted his head enough to hiss. Certainly not a patient for the Speuter Clinic. She took him to the local pound. Gibson used his last strength to hiss & snarl & lash out.

He was anesthetized before he could be untangled from the trap. It took surgery to cut the strings of that onion bag out. Deep wounds under his armpits. Crisscrosses on his chest cut almost to the ribs. Cuts between his fingers where he'd entangled his paws. Thankfully the cuts on his neck were not as deep or he wouldn't be here to tell his story. It took hours of surgery to cut all the string & stitch him together. It didn't address his bashed nose, swollen face, torn nails where he'd fought to free himself.

Next morning staff found a frantic cat; screaming, lashing out, howling, snarling, throwing himself against the cage. They could not care for him. Wounds like this require frequent care to heal properly. He needed antibiotics & pain meds. They tried to putting it in food, he slapped the bowl away. He was terrified, feral. They needed the "feral people" over at Rikki's Refuge.

Soon Gibson was screaming & trying to tear out of our hospital cage. It was hard to hold him still to dress his wounds not causing further damage. But at Rikki's Refuge the hoomans do what ever they have to, to save a life. They get bit & scratched & they are so happy when they see a healthy healed patient.

He'd ripped out some stitches under his arm before he got to Rikki's Refuge. Soon the other armpit had a raw hole too. He began to heal & calm down. Soon the hoomans learned he wasn't a feral kitty. He was a terribly frightened hurt but friendly kitty. Someday he would purr again. When that day finally came every hooman at Rikki's Refuge held him & sobbed into his fur.

Weeks, months went by, another surgery, then another. His chest, neck, arms & feet healed. But the armpits were problems. Another surgery to close them, he'd stretch & rip it open. He had to be confined where he couldn't climb, because he'd reach up & stretch his arms out & rip his delicate new skin.

Have you ever tried dressing the armpits of an angry kitty? It's not an easy job! Bandages can't be left on. If tight enough to hold, then when he'd move, they'd cut into his healing flesh.

It was a long slow process. 3 steps forward, 1 back. He was in a cage or being held for almost a year before he healed enough to start getting about. He had to stay in a small area. He began normal stretching. A tender spot opened up. Physical therapy kept the skin flexible during the final healing. At first that was painful since the scar tissue was so tight. Eventually physical therapy became fun belly rubbing stretching purring time.

Today, after almost a 1 ½ years, Gibson knows freedom! He'll be living in the 9th Live Assisted Living Section while he gets used to doing normal kitty things again. He no longer needs physical therapy, but he will be receiving occupational therapy!

Climbing the shelves was his first activity of choice! For a 1 ½ years, Gibson had not been allowed to climb! Now he can explore the tippy tops of everything!

Thru it all, he never forgot the Happy Dance! Here's Gibson, just a few minutes after his climb to the top!

Translated & written by Vincent D. Cat, Official Spokes Kitty, Rikki's Refuge no-kill life-care multi-species peaceful sanctuary. If it warms your heart to know that kitties like Gibson have a place to go, please make a donation so we can continue to do our work. www.RikkisRefuge.org/donate.php We thank you! RikkisRefuge.org

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