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.