Not every cat lands on its feet. Some take a tumble and need to be rescued. That's what happened to a sweet but stray cat that veterinarians believe was struck by a vehicle in Natick.
Now, staff at Natick Animal Clinic and the Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center of New England (VESCONE) in Waltham say they need a home for the cat and money to pay for the thousands of dollars worth of treatment.
According to staff at VESCONE and Natick Animal Clinic, a good Samaritan brought a cat wrapped in a blanket and placed in a laundry basket to the Natick clinic on May 14. Natick Animal Clinic Supervisor Chad Gerber said the cat's rescuer had seen the cat tumble down a hill off Mill Street in Natick.
It's unusual to see a cat fall down a hill, unless it has been struck by a vehicle, said Gerber.
"The cat was in a lot of pain because of the extent of the injuries," Gerber said.
Animals are euthanized only when there is no other recourse, Gerber said, and the clinic got permission from the Natick Police Department to treat the animal. Stray animals are considered property of the town, and so require authorization in order to be treated by the Natick clinic.
Natick Animal Clinic transferred the cat to VESCONE on May 16.
Vetrinarian Dr. Julie Bailey treated the cat — nicknamed "Lulu" — for much her stay in Waltham, and said the cat had suffered multiple injuries to her right side, including a broken hip, multiple rib fractures, a break to the right front elbow, and a broken right tooth.
"I would suspect she got hit by a car," Bailey said. "That's pretty significant blunt trauma."
The more immediate concern, however, was a life-threatening infection to Lulu's uterus, which was removed during emergency surgery, said Bailey. The infection was not related to the other injuries, she said.
Despite what the cat had been through, Bailey said Lulu was "an absolute sweetheart" who loved to be patted. "She was just a sweet cat who started purring from the moment she got here. Despite the injuries she had a will to live," the Bailey said.
Lulu was transferred back to Natick on May 23.
Gerber said that no one has called the Natick clinic seeking a missing cat matching Lulu's description. The cat doesn't have an embedded microchip and was not wearing a collar with any identification.
VESCONE and Natick Animal Clinic are now looking for a home for the friendly feline. Her breed is described as Ragdoll, which tend to be very gentle friendly with people, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association.
Lulu will be available for adoption in two to three weeks, depending on her recovery, according to Gerber. "She's definitely a loving cat, the only thing we don't know yet is how she does with other animals," he said.
Those interested in adopting Lulu can email the Natick Animal Clinic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The two animal care centers are also looking for the community’s support in raising money to pay for of her treatments, which cost more than $10,000. Anyone who is interested in adopting her, or would like to make a contribution, should call VESCONE at (781) 684-8387. Businesses interested in contributing prizes to a raffle for contributors can email Kirsten Sims at email@example.com.