December 13, 2005 > Plucky Bucky... the cat that wouldn't give up
Plucky Bucky... the cat that wouldn't give up
by Nancy Lyon
Dark nights and wandering black cats are a recipe for disaster. This is the story of an unlucky cat and the compassionate person who saved him from a suffering and lingering death.
On Monday, Nov. 7, Union City Vice-Mayor and OHS member Carol Dutra-Vernaci pulled into her business office parking lot. As she did, she noticed a black cat that she had never seen before lying in the road. Getting out of her car and quickly walking toward the cat to see if he was alive, she could see he was still breathing.
He had obviously been hit by a speeding car whose driver hadn't bothered to stop and check on him. There was blood on his side and on the road, and his right eye was out of the socket from the tremendous impact but still attached. Since he was still alive, Carol scooped him up to prevent him from being hit again and put him in her cat carrier. She quickly called her veterinary hospital, All About Pets, to let them know she was bringing in an emergency.
The exam revealed that the right eye could not be saved so it was removed during surgery. The other trauma was a broken jaw and upper pallet and the left eye was swollen. His claws were worn down apparently from being dragged. The jaw and pallet were wired to be able to heal. As part of the operation, the vet neutered the cat that was to become known as Bucky, assuming at this point that he was going to live.
Because of the extreme head trauma, no one had any idea as to what Bucky's brain function might be. By Friday he showed signs of being in a vegetative state, so while Carol was at the veterinary hospital, she and the vet made the difficult decision that Bucky should be euthanized. She would take his remains and see that he had a proper burial.
Well, this is the season of miracles and Bucky must have been listening to the conversation. Just after Carol sadly left the office after saying goodbye, Bucky started purring, lifted his back end, and kneading with his front paws in response to being petted - he was not ready to give up on life. The vet called and said Bucky was not going to remain in a vegetated sate after all. From that point on, he has been improving every day.
The swelling in his left eye is gone and he has minimal vision in it. The wires are out of his mouth, a tooth had to be removed to allow his mouth to close properly. He has a good appetite and eats on his own. Bucky is a friendly and loving cat, about 3 to 5 years old, he has tested negative for feline leukemia and AIDS, and is a glossy solid black with one very beautiful eye.
To look at him now, you would never guess that Bucky was hit by a car.
Now Bucky needs a wonderful forever home. He needs to be an indoor-only cat because of his minimal vision. He currently lives in a cage at the veterinary office because there are no foster homes immediately available. If you would be interested in fostering or adopting this valiant survivor please contact OHS at (510) 792-4587.
Always remember that cats allowed to roam free are at great risk of ending up like Bucky or being killed. And the vast majority will not find a wonderful savoir like Carol Dutra-Vernaci. For your cat's survival, keep them happy and safe indoors.