When the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) received a grant application beginning with “It’s our absolute worst nightmare”, we braced ourselves before reading on. The Kitty Devore Rescue Network (KDRN) is known for their diligence in coordinating rescue efforts designed to save the unfortunate felines who find themselves admitted to this high-kill shelter. In the past two years, KDRN has liberated over 2,000 cats and kittens and saw them on to good homes. Thus was the case, so they thought with Navy.
Navy was just eight weeks old when he was pulled from the high- kill shelter in Devore, California. Because he was “cute as a button” he was quickly adopted into what KDRN thought was a good home. However, a couple months afterward, KDRN’s president received a call from another shelter stating they had Navy and he had been struck by a car. Thankful for the micro-chip which altered the shelter to KDRN, a volunteer wasted no time in picking Navy up. Sadly, while obviously injured, Navy was also completely filthy, flea ridden and emaciated. Rushed to the closest veterinary clinic, Navy was diagnosed with having a left femoral head shattered to pieces from the car accident. His hip and leg were completely out of socket, dislocated about an inch from where they should be. He also had a pelvic fracture along with a large, floating segment of bone embedded into his pelvis region.
To everyone’s surprise and relief, Navy’s doctor said his leg could be saved. With the help of a Medical Emergency Grant from ISF, Navy was able to see an orthopedic surgeon to repair his broken body. The surgery was extensive as the orthopedic surgeon had to remove all the fragments of the shattered femoral head from the hip socket, then shave down the good hip to match. Afterward, the leg needed to be re-positioned and brought up an inch. Finally, the other fractures in the leg and pelvis needed to be set.
Days after surgery, KDRN wrote to ISF, “Navy seems to have an amazing will to live! Within days of his surgery he was trying to get his cone of shame off and leave his bathroom suite of luxury to take over the rest of the house. His leg does not seem to bother him, and he is ready to get back to being an 8 month old kitten!” They went on to say, “Honestly, if Navy could have it his way - he'd be the King of the Castle and get carried around and worshiped all day long. He demands petting and love when he wants it by meowing loudly and with a tone of impatience. He sleeps in his foster mom's bed with her each night, under the covers and as close as possible to her heart (despite her allergies). He flops down and immediately purrs when you pick him up and put him in the baby position to give him any attention.”
Navy’s injuries healed fabulously and he is now able to run, jump, play, climb and wrestle with the other kittens. While his limp will always be present, his muscle surrounding the bone has strengthened to allow him to be mobile without pain. KDRN said “This sweet baby boy will need a home where his humans will dote on him, as he still sleeps curled in the crook of his foster mom's arm or against her shoulder and neck every night. He enjoys playing with the other kitties, but his all-time favorite is getting some human love.”
When ISF inquired again to KDRN to see how Navy was doing, the response from his foster mom was, "I feel very honored to be a part of his journey in life, and I have decided that he should spend the rest of it with me. He deserves all the best in life, and we will make sure he gets it." KDRN further wrote, “When we mention that this is our worst night mare we say so because it is! The entire KD team takes our foster guardian responsibilities very seriously and our worst imaginable nightmare is always that something bad will happen to one of our babies after we've chosen their home. Navy is a very special boy. He loves everyone, and everything. Cats, dogs, and humans, they are all his friend, and that makes us so happy to know he will get to spend the rest of his precious life with all of those things surrounding him in love. Our rescue as always, is so thankful for the help from ISF, we could not have saved Navy if it was not for your generosity.”
Written by Veronica Hampton