The Vet Thought This Stray Had No Chance, Now He’s Stealing Hearts At The Shelter

Gulliver was in a seriously bad way when a Good Samaritan found him on Oct. 27, on the outskirts of a “well cared-for cat colony” in New Jersey.

The little tuxedo cat had been hit by a car and left to die with a fractured pelvis, femur and tail. A veterinarian who examined him didn’t give him much of a chance to live, but his rescuer was familiar with Tabby’s Place in Ringoes, NJ, and knew if anyone would go to extraordinary lengths to save the little guy’s life, the staff there would.

Tabby’s Place took Gulliver in and their emergency veterinarians got to work on repairing his shattered body. It was touch and go, but Gulliver had a glorious will to live that saw him through the surgery and emerge on the other side with a ravenous appetite.

When the staff at Tabby’s Place saw him tuck into a bowl and begin “eating like a champ,” they knew Gulliver was probably going to make it.

Famished from his ordeal and in desperate need of nutrients to help his body heal,  he displayed “the best appetite I have ever seen in twenty years of feline medicine” said “Dr. Fantastic,” the collective name Tabby’s Place staff use for the skilled veterinary surgeons who put the most catastrophically injured felines back together again.

And then there was a second surprise — despite all he’d been through, despite the unimaginable pain of getting flattened by 3,000 pounds of aluminum, steel, glass and rubber and left to suffer in a broken heap, and despite pain signals hammering their way through the fog of painkillers, Gulliver turned out to be an “extremely affectionate” kitty.

“He is so affectionate and snuggly,” said Bree, a sanctuary associate at Tabby’s Place who has been caring for the little survivor. “He leans his whole body into you and makes muffins. He has personally reminded me that there is good in this world, and it is worth fighting for.”

Three weeks after his surgery, Gulliver summoned the strength to stand on his own for the first time since he was hit. He took his first few uncertain steps, Bree said, to get close enough to her so she could pet him while she cleaned his crate. His tail was so badly damaged that it had to be amputated and he’s going to require care — including manually expressing his bladder — for the near future, but the staff at Tabby’s Place will find a forever home for him.

Despite the trauma he endured, Gulliver “should enjoy a long, healthy life like any other cat,” said Angela Hartley, the sanctuary’s development directory. “It would take a special adopter to learn how to express his bladder, but as we learn continually, there are many, many special adopters out there.”

It’s not clear yet whether Gulliver will regain the ability to use the litter box on his own, but Bree said she’s “hopeful that this will not be permanent.”

Because a sickly cat from Gulliver’s colony had found his way to Tabby’s Place earlier, the colony managers knew of the shelter and Gulliver found himself “in the care of a person who knew his life was worth saving,” Bree said.

“She was so right. Gulliver’s life was saved because there are good people in the world. I feel like his loving and gentle personality is a reflection of that.”

All images courtesy of Tabby’s Place. To fill out an online application or browse the adoptable cats of Tabby’s Place, click here.

Now that he’s a month removed from his brush with death, Gulliver’s much healthier and even has a regal look about him. Credit: Tabby’s Place

12 thoughts on “The Vet Thought This Stray Had No Chance, Now He’s Stealing Hearts At The Shelter”

  1. Every animal should at least be given a chance to see if they can recover. Then at least you know you gave it your all. I was not so lucky. Tried to save a sibling that was not thriving. Vets did all they could. I buried Lily in my back yard almost 15 years ago. Sister of Lily thrived.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s true. I didn’t mention it in the story, but Tabby’s Place has a special fund specifically for emergency cases like this. Between taking on difficult rescues and their new facility for FeLV+ cats, they do a great job of caring for the cats most others would give up on due to lack of resources.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful story! Tuxeedo cats are dear to my heart, currently I have 4. Many cats are able heal from severe injuries and/or diseases, Gulliver is a good example of this.
    Tabby’s Place is worthy of support!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have 7 inside the house. The youngest is 2 years old, the others are considerably older. Which is the reason why they get along fairly well: older cats don’t fight as much. When they were younger they’d
        battle for dominance. To be sure, some of my cats don’t care for each other, so they have their little territories where intruders aren’t tolerated.
        Some cats are loners while others like the company of their kind. It can be tricky to manage an inside clowder.
        There also seems to be a pariah cat, i.e. a cat that’s disliked and bullied by all other cats. This cat needs extra special attention and a safe place. Like I said, it can be tricky.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gulliver is a shining example of how good cats (and dogs) are despite abuse and horrific injuries. Anyone who would hit an animal and then leave them to die in pain should have the same done to them. Best wishes to Gulliver for a long happy and healthy life, and sincere thanks to Tabby’s Place for helping him recover.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It really is amazing that they continue to be trusting and loving toward humans after all they’ve endured. I asked Angela Hartley about the driver, but there were no witnesses and nothing to go on in terms of tracking down the person who hit Gulliver.

      Even if there had been, the laws are not adequate. That guy who was a town councilman and was caught on a Ring camera intentionally running over stray cats got away with it. The local judge conveniently tossed the charges. If that happens despite video clearly showing someone intentionally running over cats, there doesn’t seem to be much hope in other cases.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gullyver!! Gullyver!!!! Yore a Meer-acull Kitty an wee will purray fore a full reecovurry!
    THE peepell @ Tabby’ss Place are allso Meer-caull Werkerss an wee are so thanxfull they saved you!
    Yu are so hansum….you look strongg an so much bettur now…..
    Sendin POTP an ***purrss*** BellaDharma an (((huggiess))) an purrayerss BellaSita Mum

    Liked by 2 people

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