In July, 2015 a father took his sixteen year old son for a driving lesson on a back wooded road outside of Nashville, TN. As they were driving, they noticed a cat who appeared to be injured. Before they could approach, however, it ran away. As they drove back around, the cat reappeared. This time they stopped the car a ways back and slowly approached the small black cat. Even with a less abrupt approach, the injured cat once again ran away. Determined to help, the boy and his father stood at the spot where the cat had fled and talked for about thirty minutes, when the curious cat reappeared and approached them. Upon seeing the cat fully, the father said, “When he revealed himself my heart broke. He was completely missing his right ear and there was a strong odor coming from his ear. He had a tick hanging from his lip, and large deer ticks all over him, and he was severely dehydrated and starving.”
The father continued, “You could tell he missed affectionate touches because he was purring and begging to be touched and despite his injuries trusted me enough to follow me on foot to my vehicle.” Knowing the cat needed immediate medical attention and unable to find any owners in the area, the man and his boy took the cat to their vet, who then referred them to a specialist. ISF received a grant application for the cat, named Tucker, while he was at the specialist’s office and did not hesitate to provide assistance in the form of a Medical Emergency Grant.
Tucker needed surgery to remove his entire ear canal as well as the boney area behind the ear. The specialist who performed the surgery could not even make an educated guess as to what caused Tucker’s ear to be ripped off and the canal to be so badly damaged. It was obvious Tucker had been on the streets in this condition for a while and infection had set in. He was very fortunate to be saved as he would not have made it for very much longer.
Tucker’s road to recovery was long. In addition to his missing ear, he also had nerve damage to his eye. A Vet Tech at the hospital where Tucker was recuperating fell in love and decided to adopt him, renaming him Harvey. Unfortunately, Harvey does not get along with other cats and because the Vet Tech has others, he needed to be kept in his own private room. For a time, it was discussed perhaps Harvey would be better suited in a home without other cats. However, he suffered a setback when his surgery site abscessed and began to throw off his balance. Harvey was placed back on antibiotics and his wound site was opened up to drain. While he did get better, his balance was permanently damaged.
Considering the additional care Harvey now needed and the Vet Techs experience, it was decided Harvey was already in the best home for him. The Vet Tech spends quality time with Harvey in his private room and has even put a bed in the room so she can spend a couple nights a week sleeping with him.
Written by: Veronica Hampton
Edited by: Bob Stone