Who Cares Anyway?

I do not know this cat, but I have seen him around.

Today this poor boy showed up to our backyard feeder dragging his back legs and with no use of the back half of his body.

As I approached him, he managed to drag himself away quickly with only the use of his front legs and he went through a hole in the fence where the lower half of his body got hung on another piece of fencing over in the neighbor's yard. He tried and tried to pull his limp body over the obstacle without success.

I grabbed my gloves and a blanket and went around into the neighbor's yard to try and get him, but by the time I got around there, he had gone back the other way back through the fence and disappeared into a different neighbor's pasture where there are multiple dogs. My heart sank for him, but I could not get to him even after climbing the fence into their pasture and trying.

I set up a trap with food on our side of the fence and about 4 hours later he had dragged himself out of the dog patch and back into our yard and into the trap following the scent of food. He ate every morsel of food in the trap which is very uncommon for a captured cat unless they are starving.

I immediately, brought him to a vet who could see him right away. He is alert and was calm during the trip. He never made a sound. His injuries looked serious. Of course the vet needed a name for him, so Dragon was all I could come up with on a moment's notice.

While costly, I reasoned that x-rays could help determine if the injury was vehicular or dogs or something else and whether or not he would be treatable.

I HATE this.


We do not euthanize people who are paralyzed, but it seems that animals with similar injuries are almost casually euthanized.

Rescues have trouble finding people willing to care for perfectly healthy animals, much less paralyzed or special needs animals.

However, saving people with dire conditions is common and happens because someone CARES enough to invest the time, energy and dollars necessary for their treatment and ongoing care.

In many cases with animals, we seem less inclined to care so much or to invest so heavily. Especially in strays and homeless ones. After all, its just a cat… or a dog… or other animal.

However, I perceive that when we encounter a hapless, injured creature, the decisions we make and the actions we take may be a test of our character.

The vet assessed it was a neurological issue and that he had been dragging himself around like that for a couple of weeks based on muscle loss and injury scabbing. (Today was the 1st time he had ever been to our feeder because it was the 1st time drag marks had ever been present.) The vet did not think it a treatable condition unless someone was going to assist him with bladder expression, managing fecal incontinence, etc. and even with that care they said that typically new problems arise in a few months. And to make matters worse, because he was feral, he could not be handled to be helped normally. So sad.


When an animal has come into our life in dire need we can decide whether to turn a blind eye and ignore them, or to extend care, or not to extend care.

After conducting due diligence with x-rays and considering the vet's assessment of the nature of the his problem, my clouded thinking “or not,” decision is why I'll not be sleeping well for a while.


If you look closely, you can see where Dragon left his little mark on the world and it is all that remains of him… except for these few photos and the indelible mark he has left on me.

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