On Monday, December 4th, I came across a small kitten sitting in a flower bed in Washinton Square meowing loudly for attention. At first glance it was obvious that this little guy wasn't doing well, and wasn't gonna make it on his own. He couldn't open his eyes, was filthy, skinny, and appeared to be crusted with some dried blood. It was not until he stood up slightly to crawl back into the relative safety of a nearby bush that the extent of his injury was visible. You see, our new friend was missing most of his front left leg. And it appeared to have been quite violently removed.
After scooping our little friend, who now goes by the name Washington, into a cardboard box, I ran him to an emergency vet who could not see him because I was not able to accept full financial responsibility for his care. I then brought him to friends who were already equipped for cat care, who fed and watered him, and valiantly paid for his initial veterinary visit. (A note from one of these friends, Bettie, is included below).
Washington's prognosis is SO GOOD and has already made huge leaps on the road to recovery. Clean, looking sharp, eating very well, and quickly clearing up a pesky upper respiratory infection that the Doc said was probably making him pretty miserable. I've never met such a sweet and grateful kitty and want to make sure I follow through with his care and rehoming.
But right now, it's all about the leg. The vet says that Washington was almost definitely "a fan belt kitty", meaning he hid under the hood of a car for a warm place to curl up, and had a portion of his leg ripped off by the fan belt when the car was started back up (This event also caused minor abrasions to his nose and front right paw). What is left of his leg is quite a sorry sight. Fur and flesh pulled back from the end, exposing what appears to be scabbed, scarred over, and crudely healed muscle and bone. He had actually been walking on what is left of this leg and we could hear the bone click against the ground when he walked! Luckily, little Washington had been keeping it quite clean on his own and managed to avoid what could have been a very dangerous infection. The next step, according to his doctor, is to amputate what is left of the crude leg so he can move and grow with ease. So he can live in his new life in his new home like the normal, happy, healthy little guy he can be.

Love, Melissa.

•A note from Washington's loving temporary caretaker:

"Mr. Washington has made a complete 180, and is quite fetching in his temporary blue bandage paw!

Melissa found him Monday afternoon in Washington Square park hiding in bushes. But loudly asking for help. He's been living warmly and well fed in our loft since then. We took him to Philadelphia Animal Hospital Tuesday evening to great news of a small fever/upper respiratory infection that he on on oral antibiotics 2x daily for.

Once the infection wears off, it had been recommended to us we take him in for the amputation of his front left leg, which the vet speculated may have been caught in a cars fan belt while the kitten sought shelter.

We think he's just 6-8 weeks old, his gums and ears look remarkably clean and he is spirited and ready to be the little loving scamp he was born to be!

The doctors projected amputation cost is about $1200, something Dave and I would not be able to foot our selves. We did take little Washington in for initial eval and meds, that was $205, and a small price to pay to see this guy turn around so quickly.

I'm truly hoping for a crowdsourcing event to help get this guy the help he needs and to find him a forever home.

As I write this I'm being cuddled and swarmed with love from my little ginger buddy, let's find this gentleman the loving home he deserves!!!

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Melissa Yanefski 
Philadelphia, PA
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