Abused incontinent cat regains continence with vet care and physical therapy

Cat who was abused by child with firecracker receives surgery, care, treatment, physical therapy and love. She goes from incontinent to continent.
By David Dickson

Seven years ago, a kitten named Smokey came to Best Friends looking for a fresh start on life. And, boy, did she deserve one. Smokey was long overdue for some kindness.

Horrifically, before Smokey came to Best Friends, a child had lit a firecracker up her backside. A resulting surgery in Kansas removed part of Smokey’s colon and saved her life, but Smokey ended up incontinent from the incident. She also sustained a leg injury.

Life for kitten after abuse

Since the incident, Smokey has come so far in many different ways. "As time passed, she improved," explains Best Friends feline vet tech Della Wallace. She’s also learned to love people whole-heartedly, and, icing on the cake, she recently found her forever home. Smokey has so many reasons to celebrate.

Cat who was abused by a child

In one respect, though, Smokey’s health took a step back. Her leg injury continued to bother her, so she started walking on the hock instead of the ball of her foot. This threw her spine out of alignment and caused other problems, such as leg sores. In the end, Smokey needed leg surgery to fuse her leg and force her to walk on her foot again.

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Cat physical therapy works wonders

After the surgery, Smokey needed long-term physical therapy. Ever the fighter, Smokey did her part to get better. "She’s very strong-willed," points out Della, one of the main people involved in helping Smokey through physical therapy. In time, Smokey’s routine included three walks a day.

Smokey loved her strolls outside, and something interesting happened during these walks. "She really perked up," says Della. What really caught everyone’s attention, though, was when Smokey started digging holes in the sand to do her business outside. Either her incontinence improved or she started caring more, or both. Whatever the reason, Smokey regained continence with time. "She’s just an amazing kitty," Della says.

Incontinent cat who regained continence
One amazing kitty

When Smokey’s six months of physical therapy ended, caregivers and volunteers helped her keep up her daily walks in her new cat building. Things kept getting better, and they were about to lead Smokey down Happy Ever After Lane.

Linda Bengstorm of Salt Lake City, Utah, came to Best Friends looking for a cat to adopt. She’d been cleared for adoption, so it was simply a matter of finding the right match. Smokey volunteered for the job the moment she met Linda. "She’s so sweet," says Linda. "This cat has been through so much."

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Abused cat with her adopter, Linda
Happily ever after

Though Linda had a short list of other cats she considered, Smokey won out in the end. Once word got out that Smokey was heading home, every cat caregiver at Best Friends rushed over to say goodbye and wish her well. Linda jokingly wondered if they could bear to let Smokey go since they obviously loved her so much. "This is what it’s all about," they reassured Linda.

Back home, Smokey is making the most of her happy ending. "She settled in right away," Linda says.

Seven years ago, Smokey got the fresh start she needed. And now, she’s found another. So how does Smokey feel about life these days? "All you have to do is touch her," Linda says, "and it turns her purr switch on."

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