Tale Of The Injured Cat
In Saudi Arabia in September of 1996 a typical Saudi rascal stopped his car, got out and threw a baby kitten over the wall of our compound. This is typical of the Saudis who hate dogs and shoot them on site every chance they get but profess to be kind to other animals including cats – and there are plenty of cats roaming around. So delivering them to the Farangs in this manner is one way to dispose of unwanted kittens.
This was a beautiful little kitten with three colors but it was very undernourished, starving actually, and had an injured paw. I was single and living alone and a lady asked me to take it in look after it and suggested it would make a good companion pet for me. I had never had a cat before but I managed to nurse it back to health with the aid of the local vet and over the next 6 years it became a wonderful smart little pet that I grew very attached to. Cats are really fascinating little animals.
In March 2002 my contract in Saudi ended and I moved to Bangkok. There was no one to take my cat in and I couldn’t leave it alone to starve in Jeddah. I contacted the Thai Consulate and found that with the proper vaccinations and papers I could bring her with me to Thailand. I wasn’t so lucky with Singapore Airlines though and her air transportation cost me 25,000 baht. When the cost of the vaccinations and paperwork was added the total cost to bring her here was about 42,000 baht.
Getting an apartment that allowed pets wasn’t easy but the owner made an exception for me and I got a good apartment on the fourth floor with two large balconies. She was a sure-footed cat, very obedient and played often on the balconies but alas, one morning she must have jumped at a bird or something and she fell. She fell four floors and was impaled on the foot long ½ inch steel rods on top of the security fence that surrounded the building. When I couldn’t find her I looked down and there she was with these rods sticking a foot through her and emitting terrible moans. One rod was through her neck, another through her upper thigh and another through her left front paw.
It took two of the Thai security men 15 minutes or more to get to her because that portion of the fence was inaccessible but finally they were able to get a ladder and pull her up off the rods.
Thus began a 25 day period of fantastic care for this animal by all of the Thai people involved from the building owner, the security people, the taxi drivers and all the medical staff and students at the Small Animal Hospital at Chulalongkorn University.
The security men got the cat off the fence wrapped her in a small blanket and delivered her to me. I must admit I was beside myself, not knowing what to do. I was sure the cat was dying although she could walk a bit. The guards hailed a taxi and after some discussion the driver suggested we take her to the small animal hospital at the university. We arrived there in about 15 minutes. The taxi driver refused to accept any fare! Despite there being a few dozen people there with their ill pets, mostly dogs and cats, some of the staff examined my cat right away and rushed her to the emergency surgical room. Within 15 minutes of arriving they had her under a general anesthetic and were operating on her.
Altogether they worked on her, sometimes 3 or 4 staff, for three hours. They stitched up her neck, thigh and forepaw wounds and inserted drainage tubes. Because she has lost so much blood they had a difficult time bringing her around. Her body temperature dropped, she was cold to touch, body stiffened, eyes wide open, tongue jutting out and no detectable movement. It was nip and tuck but after an hour of work with heat pads, antidotes, massage, etc she eventually came around. Groggy but alive.
Thereafter every morning for 24 straight days I took her by taxi to the hospital where they flushed out the drainage tubes with various solutions, gave a daily antibiotic shot, and redressed her wounds. I can tell you that the kindness and care the cat received from the staff was an amazing thing to see. There is a lot of negative press these days about taxi drivers but even they were sympathetic when they saw the injured cat. A couple made a point of picking me up every morning and there was no attempt at fare rip offs.
In my daily visits I met many of the vet students and they were very dedicated kids who obviously loved the small animals they were caring for. Some of the scenes in the hospital were really sad, heart rending really. I remember one case where this elderly lady had a pet monkey that she had kept for years. It was very well behaved too but sad to see that it had contracted diabetes some time ago and both its back legs had to be amputated. Several cases of pet dogs and cats, obviously much loved by their families, seriously ill with cancer or with broken legs, crushed by cars or just plain sick.
The whole experience deeply affected me because I can assure you that it is impossible to get that kind of care for your pet where I come from unless you were prepared to spend an absolute fortune. In this case the total cost over 25 days was about 6000 baht. And you will never see that kindness and dedication anywhere else. So if you have a pet that needs care this Small Animal Hospital at Chulalongkorn University is the place to go.
I overhear a lot of uncomplimentary things about Thai people from Farangs but this experience will never leave me and I see these people in an altogether different light.
Kitty Kat is alive and well thanks to the kind care she received in Thailand.
As a cat lover, and someone who has lost a few in the past, I know where you are coming from. It is so reassuring to hear stories like this to remind us that there is real warmth amongst the locals despite a lot of the negativity we see and hear about.