Valentine, The Fan Belt Kitten

Valentine came to the shelter on Feb 15th, 2003. She had wandered out of the woods to an older woman's home, very badly injured. Despite her injuries she ran around and ate well. The woman eventually called the shelter to try and find someone to take care of the kitten. Two weeks after her first call, Valentine was finally brought to the shelter.

When I picked her up out of the box she came in, the toes of her badly mangled left hind leg fell off. I had never seen such a mess. I rushed her to the emergency vet. The e-vet said "I don't know why this kitten isn't dead of infection, but somehow she isn't. She isn't even really an emergency. She is active, her color is good, no sign of infection." Perhaps the large mass of scar tissue above her dangling dead foot protected the rest of her from infection? We don't know.

In addition to the dangling foot, held on only by skin, she had an old break in her right forearm. It had broken midway down the forearm and rehealed at a right angle. She ran on it anyway.

This is what she looked like:

and this is the dangling foot close up:

These show her mangled front arm:

Valentine had her surgery on 2/20/03

She was in surgery for an hour and a half. The entire hind leg had to be removed, along with the large mass of scar tissue.
An x-ray showed her broken arm to be healed and calcified. To rebreak and try to reset it would be more traumatic than it was worth, the vet thought. If we had found her when the break was fresher, perhaps it could have been corrected.

She came home still in high spirits. The day after her surgery she was running around as usual. She stayed in a two level ferret cage when I was not around to watch her, just to be safe.

Here are some post op pictures of her:
getting a belly rub:

and scritches:

and lounging:

And here she is in her cage:

Valentine was adopted to a wonderful home in Chicago where she was renamed Tyson.