Monday, December 28, 2009

Very brave kitty hobbles home on TWO broken legs


Courtesy of Tracie Steger
Note from Mimi: PURRsonally, I DO NOT agree with allowing any animal to be loose in a yard. They are animals and as highly trained as they can be - they are NOT reliable 100% of the time. Horrible things can happen to them when they stray as evidenced here. This cat's story had a happy ending - not all of them do.

PeoplePets.com It's nothing less than a miracle: Missing 11 days, a 1-year-old, gray-and-white cat named Giggle Blizzard found his way back home on Thanksgiving night — on two broken hind legs. He had dragged himself onto the porch after being hit by a car more than a mile away.

"I lost it. I was so happy," the cat's owner, Tracie Steger, 42, tells PEOPLEPets.com. "I jumped up and grabbed him and hugged him." Then she rushed him to an emergency veterinary hospital.

Steger had been looking for Blizzard since he disappeared from her Spring Hill, Fla., home on Nov. 15.

"All of my cats and dogs are clicker trained and I take them on walks around the block in the evenings," says Steger. She lets them play off-leash in her front yard because once her cats hear the clicker, she says, they all come running inside for their treats. But on that particular night, all her cats came except Blizzard. "I knew right away something was wrong," says Steger, a former stockbroker and financial adviser who is studying to be a veterinary technician.

Though it was after midnight, Steger — who has eight cats and two dogs, all rescues — grabbed Margarita, her Golden retriever, and walked through the neighborhood calling Blizzard's name. At 3:30 a.m., she returned home to make "Lost Cat" flyers and put a posting on Craigslist.com, then went back out in search of her cat until sunrise.

As the days went by, Steger received a flurry of Blizzard sightings. A little girl in the neighborhood said she saw the cat get hit by a car; another caller left a message that she saw a gray cat hobbling around. Each time, Steger rushed to the location where the cat that might be Blizzard was last seen. "But he was never there," says Steger. "It's like I was always one step behind."

On Thanksgiving night, Steger was at home with her family and friends when she heard meowing outside. The last thing she expected to see at the door was Blizzard, but there he was! "He was meowing and he pulled himself into the house," recalls Steger. "He put his two front legs forward and his back legs kind of zig-zagged and skittled forward to catch up."

The cat had lost weight and Steger could see his backbone. "He looked around like, 'I'm home, where's my dinner? Where's my turkey?'" laughs Steger, admitting that she put the whole turkey carcass on the floor so Blizzard could pick at it.

Steger then took Blizzard to an emergency veterinary hospital where they gave him pain medication, fluids and antiobiotics. The next morning, they went to the Animal Care Center of Weeki Wachee, where she volunteers. "When I saw his X-rays, that's when I cried," recalls Steger. "I could tell his legs were fractured, but I didn’t know how bad they were." Orthopedic veterinary surgeon Dr. Michael Kern managed to save both legs.

Wanting to share her story, Steger posted an update on Craiglist, urging other pet owners not to give up if they have lost a pet. "If they know they are loved, and your family isn't going to give up easy on the search, then it may be just enough to bring them home to you," she wrote.

"It is unbelievable the number of emails I have gotten," says Steger. "One lady said she found her kitty after three-and-a-half weeks and that she never gave up because of my story. If Giggle Blizzard and I have no other purpose, it's to share our story. It's amazing that someone acted on my experience and had a happy outcome."

In about a month, Blizzard will have his casts removed. In the meantime, he seems to be enjoying the attention of news cameras. "He's a ham," says Steger. "He'll sit there and pose for pictures."

15 comments:

Amy and The House of Cats said...

It is terrible that he was hurt but I am glad he is home. I have to admit though, that these kinds of stories are exactly why I keep my cats indoors. You just never know. But I am happy that it ended with him home.

Sweet Praline said...

Blizzard was very lucky and I am glad he made it home. Mom would never let me outdoors because of all of the dangers of living in the suburbs.

Daisy said...

Ah, the poor kitteh must have suffered a lot. I'm glad that he was able to drag himself home.

Sammy and Andy said...

Poor Blizzard....the pain he must have suffered......Mom says that's a good example of why she will NOT let us go outside....and after reading the story, we agree with her!!!! We are sooooo happy that he found his way home.

The Creek Cats said...

All we can say is thank goodness he was able to drag himself back to his home.We are so glad to hear he is going to be ok.
His pic reminds us of Maggie May after she had double patella surgeries and both back legs were bandaged. Bless heart!

CCL Wendy said...

What a determined and lucky kitty to make it home again! It speaks to his spirit as well as his survival instinct.

By the way, sorry I didn't answer before but I got busy. I don't mind if you would like to approach Ann of Zoolatry for pictures of Camille Suzanne and Dante. She's taken pictures from our blog before. Thanks.

Harry Spotter said...

Poor thing. What courage it took to drap himself home on two broken legs. We are purring that he heals fast.

The Kool~Kittie~Krew said...

We're sad to hear he had two broken legs, but the love for his mom, made his drag himself home to her! Now, that IS courage! Happy to hear his legs will be okee-dokee!!!

William said...

Poor guy! I'm glad we're indoor cats. The problem is while we are unbelievably smart, our instincts about danger fails when it comes to human-made mechanical objects.

ButterBean said...

Wow! What a story - living with a kitty that had a broken hip I know its hard but they do get better and they make do with what they have and it seems that they live life to the fullest becuase they know it could have all been over. I wish the pretty kitty a speedy recovery.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

As a veterinary technician, I have never let my cats outside, though I work for 2 veterinarians that let theirs outside...I just don't understand the logic, especially as one was severely injured when hit by a car. But, those under my care will never venture outside. While I do have concerns of them being trapped inside during a fire (every mothers fear)as all studies show, indoor only cats have the longest lifespan. I do need to get them all microchipped though, because one never knows about floods or hurricanes or accidental escapes and it gives them a chance to be reunited with me, along with their collar and nametag, too.

the casbah kitten said...

What a very brave kitty!

The Island Cats said...

This is why our mom makes us stay inside. We're glad that the kitty made it home and we hope he heals quickly.

We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Inigo Flufflebum and d'Artagnan Rumblepurr said...

This is why we're happy our mummy and daddy keep us inside. We find enough ways to get into trouble in here ;) We're glad kitty found his way home.

Brian said...

Yep, that is why we are indoor cats too, we are sure glad it had a good ending!