The vet at Oakland Animal Services flagged down Dawn, our Foster Coordinator and Deputy Director, who was on her weekly volunteer shift at the shelter. “We just received a cat who’s been badly injured by a car engine — it looks like she’ll need surgery. Can Cat Town help?”
Dawn took a look at Tammy’s injuries and was shocked. At least 6 inches of skin was gone, and the wound already looked as though her flesh was beginning to rot. “Of course we’ll help.”
The reason Dawn could act quickly, despite the severity of Tammy’s injuries, is Cat Town’s Emergency Medical Fund. We set aside a small pool of money to help cats in dire need — cats like Tammy, who got lost when her human passed away, fell asleep under the hood of a car, and was rushed to the shelter when the driver heard her crying out in pain.
We put out an urgent call for fosters with medical experience, and Laura responded immediately. She converted space in her home into a medical ward, and we transferred Tammy to her that day.
Tammy had lost her family and her home, and survived extensive injuries. She was a little apprehensive — but just at first. She showed off her unflappable personality on her second day with Laura, who reported that Tammy was one of the sweetest cats she’d ever met. “She never acted like she was injured, and she never seemed to be afraid at all.”
Laura took Tammy to the vet every week for assessment, to have her bandages changed, and to work out how to possibly avoid surgery, which would have used her remaining skin to cover her wound. That operation needed to be a last resort — if it didn’t work, there would not be enough skin left to try again. Our friends at Claremont Veterinary Hospital monitored her health closely, and gave her plenty of antibiotics and pain medication to make her recovery as easy as possible. Soon, they noticed that her wound was beginning to heal on its own!
Laura had to do a lot of cleaning to keep her place sanitary for Tammy, and to keep it from being stained by Tammy’s injuries. Yet, no matter how messy things got, she never wavered in her dedication to helping her recover. “It wasn’t as bad a process as it looked like it would be. It was really easy to help her. She was doing everything on her own terms, and constantly wanted to play as though nothing was wrong.”
As time passed and Tammy’s injuries healed, she became more playful and silly — tumbling in somersaults after her laser pointer, chirping at birds out the window, and head butting Laura with such force that it always felt like she was saying, “thank you.”
Best of all, after more than three months of recovery, Tammy was just adopted.
What does it take to help cats like Tammy? It takes months of work. It takes thousands of dollars to pay for medicine, bandages, and more. It takes creativity, and persistence and hope that things will go right.
Is it worth it? Always. When you do everything you can to help someone in need, you never wonder what might have been.
We could not help cats like Tammy survive, thrive, and find loving homes without our community backing us. Thank you to everyone who has donated to Cat Town. You’re the reason Tammy is enjoying each moment with nothing but unbridled enthusiasm.
Cat Town was able to help Tammy thanks to our Emergency Medical Fund, providing urgent, ongoing care to the shelter’s sick and injured cats! If you’d like to help the shelter cats most in need, please consider becoming a monthly donor today.