It's not often an injury to a cat can be said to be a piece of luck, but black and white Freddy totally disagrees.
We were alerted to his plight on Sunday morning - he'd been spotted hanging around a residential area and the finders noticed he was limping on one of his front legs.
Further examination showed that he had actually put his leg through his collar and the collar had tightened, causing him to limp.
The people who found him had caught him, but when they tried to remove the collar it hurt him so much that he bit them badly and managed to escape.
This called for one of our special cat traps, which we set in their garden on the Sunday morning. To our relief at teatime he went into the trap and we were able to transport him quickly to the vet.
The collar was cut off and further examination showed that it had embedded itself in his armpit, and the wound had become infected.
Freddy was sedated and the wound cleaned out, and partially stitched. Whilst he was drowsy, the vets scanned him for a microchip and to their delight found one!
Because the 'chip company was closed at the weekend, they were unable to obtain his owner's details until Monday, but when the did get the details they were in for a surprise. Freddy had been missing for nearly a year, from a town about 10-12 miles away from where he was found. No one has any idea where he has been all this time, but his owners were absolutely over the moon to have him back.
He will require several weeks cage rest so that he doesn't tear the wound, but the chances are that he'll make a good recovery.
The moral to this story is that microchipped cats have a much better chance of being returned to their owner, and the £20 or so it costs is money well-worth spent. There is arguably a second moral to the story - the use of collars on cats. In our opinion, there is only one reason to put a collar on a cat, and that is for identity purposes. There was no tag on Freddy's collar - had there been he might have been reunited much sooner. And although the collar was ultimately the reason that he was reunited, the collar Freddy was wearing was not a sort we'd recommend. If you do put a collar on your cat it should either be fully elasticated (and changed every 6-8 weeks as the elastic hardens) or a safety release collar which will snap open if the cat catches his or her paw in it.
Freddy is a delightful cat, very friendly and happy to be handled. We're delighted that we were able to play a small part in reuniting him with his owners.
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