A stray cat found badly injured in the backyard of a north-eastern suburbs home has made a remarkable comeback, thanks to dedicated veterinary care funded by big-hearted animal lovers.
The three-year-old male tabby had large, burn-like wounds covering the front of his body when discovered by a Parafield Gardens resident on February 27 this year. She immediately called RSPCA South Australia.
An emergency fund raised more than $1000 to cover the cat’s veterinary care, which involved cleaning and bandaging his wounds, a course of antibiotics to prevent infection and a month in monitored recovery.
Not every animal that comes to RSPCA South Australia in need of urgent veterinary care can have its own dedicated emergency fundraiser, but Chief Veterinarian Dr Brad Ward is pinning hope on the organisation’s current Tax Appeal to bring in much-needed donations.
“With the end of the financial year about a month away, it’s the ideal time to make a tax deductible donation to support life-saving treatment for animals like this lucky cat,” Dr Ward said.
“He definitely wouldn’t have survived without vet care, and RSPCA needs our community’s support to continue to provide it.”
Dr Brad Ward believes the cat may have suffered burns after climbing into a car engine in search of warmth.
“Cats are renown for getting themselves into all kinds of risky situations, and this poor cat could have been trying to escape the cold by getting close to a recently turned off car engine,” Dr Ward said.
“But we’ll never know for sure what happened to get him in this terrible state, not just injured but also underweight and with several scars on his face.”
While the cat appeared to have been living rough for a while, his extremely friendly nature shone through from the start. RSPCA South Australia’s Rescue Team leader Nalika van Loenen, who transported the injured cat by animal ambulance to RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter, recalled him being “very smoochy” despite his poor state.
“It was immediately clear to me that this cat had at some stage had a home, because he was anything but a wild stray,” Ms van Loenen said.
“Even with those shocking injuries, he was trying to make friends with me – it was quite heartbreaking, because I wasn’t sure he would pull through.”
A microchip scan revealed the cat was called Sketchers and he did indeed have an owner. When contacted by RSPCA South Australia staff, Sketchers’ owner advised them that her cat had been missing for a couple of weeks. She surrendered him to RSPCA so he could find a new home.
After five weeks recovering in foster care, Sketchers became available for adoption on April 4, and found a new home that same day with Adelaide hills couple Jane and Anton.
“He is a very happy boy, and quickly made friends with everyone in the house,” Jane said.
“And he doesn’t like being alone, so with the dog he’s worked out an agreement for sharing the couch.”
Sketchers not only has a new home, but also a new name – Jack. He is now confined indoors for his safety.
“We really want to thank everyone who donated to Jack’s emergency fund – we can assure them that he was worth every cent!” Jane said.
“He’s living proof of where the money goes, and everyone who donated towards his care should feel proud of what they helped achieve for our lovely boy.”
RSPCA South Australia is totally dependent on donations to cover the veterinary care of injured and ill animals like Jack.
Tax-deductible donations can be made at support.rspcasa.org.au/bindi
Jack when found
Jack in his new home with Anton (photo: Barb Seidel)