by Angela Doyle
A member of the public, Julie, from Chadwell St Mary, has a colony of feral cats living on her land at the back of her property. The colony seemed to consist of a female and her kittens. The Cats Protection charity, in Romford, was contacted, to see if they could offer advice about how to stop the colony from getting any larger. Edna, a coordinator for the Romford branch of CP (Cats Protection) advised that all the kittens and the mother would need to be neutered and then re-released. A series of (cage) traps were set, and over a period of weeks the entire colony was trapped and then neutered, at the local vets, The Wylie Veterinary Centre in Hornchurch. They were then re-released back to their original location and continued to be fed by Julie.
One day Julie noticed that the mother of the kittens had disappeared. She wondered if, perhaps, now the kittens were grown, the mum had moved on. A few days later the mother cat re-appeared with a very sore looking eye. Julie contacted Edna again, who advised her to try to trap the cat again and take her to Wylies in Hornchurch for an emergency appointment. The vet, Angela Doyle, saw her and realised that, sadly, the eye was too damaged to treat and would need to be removed. Edna was contacted again and agreed to sponsor the surgery. When the cat was anaesthetised the vet was able to examine the eye properly, and thought that the damage may have been caused by the feline herpes virus. This common cat virus can cause ulcers on the eye, which if not treated, can rupture.
The surgery was going to plan and as Angela finally removed the eye from the socket, she saw a small piece of metal, lodged behind the eyeball. At first she was puzzled by what this could be. Using a pair of forceps she gently removed the foreign body from the socket and was shocked to discover that it was an air gun pellet. It had gone through the eye and lodged itself in to the back of the eye socket.
The cat, named Holly, recovered well from her surgery and is now in a foster home. After her surgery she seemed to have a complete personality change, from timid and scared to friendly and affectionate. It is almost as if she recognised that her pain was removed by the people around her, but it is shocking to imagine that anyone could inflict this sort of pain and suffering on any living creature. This poor cat must have suffered unimaginably for days.
Holly is recovering well from her ordeal and does not seem to be affected by only having one eye. Thanks to Edna, Julie and the Cats Protection Charity, Holly was spared any further suffering, and potentially from having to be euthanased.
She is now looking for a permanent owner, and if you think that you could offer her, or another cat a good home, please contact Edna at Cats Protection on 07108 451341.