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Micia's Misadventure (With A Happy Ending)

March 2009

By: Denise Dresner


Micia, being brave.


Micia, relaxing!
My tortoiseshell cat Micia came to my door as a stray kitten when I was living in Oxford. I didn't really want another cat at the time but fell in love with her on the spot...

That was almost ten years ago.

She has been my constant companion ever since, a source of comfort and delight and entertainment, and is completely lovely and loveable. Everyone who meets her warms to her right away, and she loves to interact with people. She hates being left alone. She is constantly showered with love and affection and cuddles. She lives in a flat with a garden, so all in all has a very good life.

The only black time in her life occurred a few years ago. I was working at my desk when I heard a pitiful meow and looked down to see her sitting looking at me, with her left paw raised and hanging at an unnatural angle.

She was obviously in a lot of pain. I rushed her to the emergency vet (it was a Sunday), who gave her a shot of painkillers to tide her over till the next day. I still didn't know what had happened to her as there was no obvious injury – just a very small red spot which I couldn't identify.

The next morning I took her to the vet, where she was anaethestized so they could take x-rays. When I went to pick her up later that day I looked at the x-ray and broke into tears – all the small bones of her ‘wrist' were in splinters, and I could clearly see a small pellet lodged in the bone... it was a bullet from an airgun. She had been shot while out in the garden.

This turned into a very long saga. I realised it was my unpleasant next-door neighbour who had shot her, as I found out he had an airgun. Maybe it was accidental, maybe not – I couldn't care less. He shouldn't have been shooting an airgun in his back garden with pets in the area. I involved the police and they eventually went to his house and busted him, however the forensics couldn't prove the bullet came from his gun (that link can't be made with airguns apparently), so they couldn't arrest him or punish him. But I made sure he became the neighbourhood pariah, loathed by everyone, to the point where eventually he moved away. I still feel angry and bitter when I think of him, and the senseless cruelty meted out to helpless creatures by such sub-humans...


Micia fooling around!

Micia went through a delicate operation and a long and painful recovery, during which she had to wear a leg cast for four months and couldn't go outside. She was in so much pain for so long, it broke my heart. After the cast came off it took many months before she could start walking on that foot again.

Her paw healed slightly crookedly, and is a constant reminder to me of the senseless cruelty and suffering she was subjected to. (Airguns should be banned like any other firearm – yet the laws remain absurdly lax, and as a consequence countless pets are maimed or killed every year.)

But to end on a happy note – Micia made a full recovery and is a very happy cat, who purrs at the slightest provocation. Thankfully, she has no memory of her ordeal, and also thankfully, her experience did not change her character, and she remains friendly and open to humans.

This story is a reminder of how amazing cats are – and animals generally – how lacking in self-pity, how resilient to adversity and pain, how ready to continue loving humans even after suffering terribly at their hands … in short, how they are living testament to the healing power of love and kindness.

Copyright: Denise Dresner - March, 2009

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