News and Media

FEATURE: Life is looking up for Smokey

February 13, 2015

Despite only being three-months-old, stray kitten Smokey has already had her fair share of downs. Most likely born on the streets and forced to fend for herself Smokey’s life is finally looking up and she is now ready for the next step in her life — finding a loving home.

When firefighters receive calls to rescue cats, their natural inclination is to look up. Not so for Pakenham firefighter Steven Leithhead who answered a call days into 2015, that lead to the delicate rescue of a tiny kitten at the bottom of a two metre drain.

The Pakenham Fire Brigade had taken a call from a concerned family who had heard meowing from the drain as they rode their bikes along corner of the Princess Highway and Obrien Parade in Pakenham.

Read more on the story here.

Brought to our North Melbourne Shelter by the Hallam Animal Emergency Care, Smokey was placed into the care of our Frank Samways Veterinary Clinic. Following initial stabilisation and radiographs, it was soon clear the little kitten had sustained a big injury.

“She had a fractured femur (thigh bone) which is the largest bone in the body,” said veterinary surgeon Dr Ton Tancharoen. “Cats are quite agile, so the fall down the drain in itself would unlikely have caused this significant injury.

“When we see breaks like this in the femur, they are usually due to blunt impact such as vehicular trauma,” he said. “Sadly, I suspect Smokey was hit before falling down the drain.” IMG_4606

Smokey received up to $2000 worth of treatment including vital surgery in which the broken fragments were repositioned and stabilised with a plate.

“To say Smokey was rescued and brought to us in time is an understatement – time is of the essence when it comes to these types of injuries.

“If she had come to us even a couple of days later, the tissues would have started to scar and contract in an abnormal position resulting in a much more invasive surgery, pain and a prolonged healing time which could be detrimental especially for a young growing animal”

When Smokey met Morgan and Roxy

With surgery behind her, Smokey was placed in foster care with Claire — new foster carer and member of our staff — for rehabilitation in a home environment.

This is where she met what went onto be her unlikely two best friends, Morgan and Roxy.

“I was a little tentative at first considering the sheer difference in size between Smokey and the dogs; but with a guided introduction, the three soon got along like a house of fire!” said ClairClaire and foster kitten (2)e, foster carer and our new staff member.

Claire was instructed by Dr Tancharoen to closely monitor and manage Smokey’s movement and environment to avoid overexertion of her leg.

“We had a large crate set up for Smokey to help restrict her movement in order for her leg to heal and would take her out when we were home for some cuddle time.”

Soon enough, her leg healed successfully and Smokey was allowed to spend more time out of her crate.

“She loves tSmokey & Morgan 3he dogs, especially Morgan. She’s obsessed with sharing his bed!

Parting with Smokey would never be fun however; Claire is certain she will make a terrific pet for a loving home and is looking forward to taking on her next foster.

“She’s been nothing but a pleasure to have around and I cannot wait for her to find a home that will love and care for her the way she deserves.”

“It’s hard to say goodbye but it comes with being a foster carer.

“I love fostering for the Home,” she said. “As a foster carer you see the tangible difference you can make to an animal’s life. It’s truly incredible!”

Do you think you are the perfect match for Smokey? View her profile today!

Want to become a foster carer like Claire? Find out how you can here