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Old April 21st, 2003, 10:28 AM
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Good Samaritans save stray cat struck by car and left to die

Good Samaritans save stray cat struck by car and left to die:
Cat looked like he was missing his jaw, says student rescuer

Jadranka Bacic
The Ottawa Citizen

A stray cat is on the third of his nine lives after being hit by a car, scooped off the pavement and whisked to an animal hospital by two Good Samaritans.

The brown tabby cat was hit by a car on Monday as it tried crossing through rush-hour traffic on Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard in Orl?ans.

Melina Mitsou, a 22-year-old dental hygiene student at La Cit? coll?giale, pulled over to investigate the ball of brown fur lying in a puddle of blood in the middle of the road. An unidentified man was already on the scene.

"The cat's face was mangled," said Ms. Mitsou. "It looked like he was missing his jaw and his skin was peeled back down to his neck."

But the large, male cat was alive and responsive.

"He continued to purr and show affection despite the injuries he suffered," she said.

Ms. Mitsou drove the cat to the Orl?ans Veterinary Hospital about 4 p.m.

The cat would likely have died if it wasn't brought to the hospital, said Dr. Kirk Als. Surgery was needed to wire his jaw and re-attach his soft tissue, doctors said. The procedure, including medication and hospitalization, would cost about $2,000.

The veterinarians put the animal on painkillers while Ms. Mitsou tried to find the owner. After knocking on doors close to the accident scene, the college student learned the cat was a stray that had been hit by a car once before.

Hospital staff performed the surgery.

"We wish we could do this with every animal that comes through our doors, but it would be unrealistic to assume we could absorb such enormous costs," said Dr. Als.

More surgery is needed to fix the two-year-old cat's teeth, but the prognosis is good.

Plus, a hospital staff member has expressed interest in adopting the cat.

Copyright 2003 The Ottawa Citizen
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