March 2001 - Lucky vs. weed-eater part one.
Lucky was born about 10 days before I met him. I'm almost sure that he had brothers and sisters, but reasoning and deduction are enough to believe that they didn't survive. You see, I feed about 6 or 7 cats that roam my neighborhood, and quite some time ago, I noticed one of the regulars was pregnant. It's happened before... eventually she would drop out of sight for a month or so, and then she would appear, with kittens in tow. This time, Mother Nature would play a cruel trick.
Some of the houses on my block have gaps between the foundation and the ground. It's a common thing to see cats around these gaps, as they would offer shelter from the elements. It's not a stretch to guess that the momma cat took-up in one of these gaps to give birth. I'm guessing that Lucky (and the others) were born between 7 and 9 days before a very large storm arrived. It's also my guess that Lucky was the only one saved by his mother... it flooded slightly, but enough to fill and cover those gaps I mentioned. (After finding Lucky, I looked for siblings, but found none. I looked everywhere). I'm thinking that after saving Lucky (and herself) from the slight flooding, she sought refuge and safety in the place she knew was safe. My backyard. (It's a little higher than the other lots here). Anyway... that's enough prologue.
On Monday, March 5th - I received a phone call from my landlord. Landlord: "The landscaper hit a kitten with the weed eater."
Me: "What?! What kitten? OMG!"
I then dropped the phone (literally) and ran outside... where I came upon a six-foot tall, three hundred pound landscaper. He was almost to tears, and babbling about not seeing and he's sorry. While he was ranting, I had looked down. As God is my witness, I swear that for the REST of my life I won't forget every detail of what I saw and heard. Lucky was lying face-down in my lawn with an obviously (badly) broken hind leg and long, deep lacerations all over his body... one an inch long right on the top of his head. If you think this sight was unbearable, just imagne it with his screams of pain in your ears. Fortunately, panic-mode set in and I scooped him up and broke every traffic law I could in getting him to the vet. The fact that he wasn't killed instantly was a miracle in itself.
Later that day, the vet called me to say that Lucky was okay, but not out of danger. His leg was so badly broken that 4 pins would be necessary to set it. He was in danger from infections from the bone injury "and" the cuts inflicted by the nylon cord in the weed-eater - (there were 8 cuts that "all" required stitches, even one through the web between two of his claws). If surgery was done, the anesthesia was a grave risk for such a young kitten.
What else was there to do? Lucky never "asked" for all of this. I'm sure he would have been more than happy to live his cat-life out like any other stray, rather than be torn away from his mother and almost killed by an unbelievably loud garden tool. It "should" have been safe in my yard, dammit!