FFRC
Where Every Cat Matters and Every Cat has a Story
Friends of Felines Rescue Center, Defiance, OH 43512

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Bravo--Bravo Bravo!

He’s sleeping now.  It’s been a long day.  But today is the beginning of his new life; A life with endless possibilities and endless love.  Some people might take pity on him, but shouldn’t.  He doesn’t pity himself and has already proven that.  He has known nothing but love his entire short life, already.  And with thousands of people already falling in love with this little one, he will know nothing but love his entire life.

Of course, his name is Bravo.  Every step he takes, his name just fits.  He was born in May, 2012 to an outside cat.  The person that found him and his momma immediately gave him all he needed.  As far as we know, he was the only kitten to survive the litter.  His rescuer tried to feed him upon taking him and his momma in, but found it very difficult and noticed something different about this little one.  His back legs just didn’t seem to work.

 He called Jacci and asked if she would help him.  Jacci said yes, but on one condition;  The momma had to be spayed.  He agreed to do this and to take both momma and kitten inside.  Momma was spayed three days later and now living happily as an inside cat.  And Bravo was taken to FFRC for his next journey on June 18th. One look at his legs and it was obvious this kitten had two very deformed rear legs.  His rear left leg was “solid” at the hip with no movement at all.  There was no movement at the knee as both joints were fused together.  As a result the leg stayed in a “straight out” position.  His right rear leg was different, from the ankle down, it was “floppy”.  The skin between the hip and knew was very, very shortened and tight, which made it impossible to bend the hip or know.  Again, both joints were fused in that position.

 The right leg caused pain, the left leg only hurt when other kittens got a little rough and moved or pounced on it. 

 A few days after his arrival, he was taken to Dr. Dari for a complete exam.  She agreed that both legs were useless and as he got older would only hamper his movement and develop sores and possible infections.  It was recommended that both legs be amputated.  A second vet, agreed with the diagnosis and treatment. Because of his tiny size, it was determined he needed to be at least 2 lbs before surgery.  But it was also agreed, the sooner the surgery could be done, the better he would feel and be able to get around.

 We have watched him scoot around the center, with his back legs causing more of a nuisance than anything.  He hasn’t let them slow him down as he’s playfully zoomed from one place to another.  He has energy to be envied and doesn’t take anything from anyone.  If there’s a kitten wrestling party going on, he’s all in.  He’s good friends with Graciela and Derecho and, well all the kittens.

 And how heartwarming when we got to see him ‘scooting” with the Queen of Scoots, Bella.  Bella is proof a cat with challenges can grow up and be happy and, well a cat.

 He had his surgery today.  It took almost three hours and during it, it was discovered just how bad his legs were.  The decision to remove them was a good one, ensuring he will have no pain and free access for the rest of his life.

 When he came home, he was a little confused from coming out of the anesthesia and once his initial pain meds wore off he was in some pain.  He was given more pain meds.  After a little sleep, Jacci fed him by syringe and he ate well.  Then he decided he was feeling better and took four steps on his own.  An effort that surprises none of us and just reaffirms that he has the perfect name, with each step he takes.

The next 10 days will be important ones to make sure the sutures are protected.  He’ll spend tonight with Jacci and then spend many days and nights in June’s room as he recovers.

Earth Angels week is a reminder to us all that these wonderful cats we see every day are given every chance at the best life possible.  We are reminded always that whatever medical care they need they are given.  We are reminded of how many Angels are here on Earth and how many cats are in need of them.

 Bravo to all those who have either given or said thanks to those who have.  Bravo to the caregivers of our beloved cats.  And especially, Bravo to Bravo. 

Postscript:

The day after this story was written, our dear Bravo passed away.  His life was short, but he touched many lives. He showed us all that it doesn’t matter how long you have, it is what you do with each day that matters.  And for his short life, he knew love and he knew no limitations.  He was happy and was allowed to be a kitten.  When he passed, he passed with love surrounding him not only close by but from thousands of miles away.  We should all be so lucky to know such love.