Firefighters saved the cat in the nick of time. They turned the feline over to West Suburban Veterinary Associates (WSVA), an animal hospital in Westmont known for medical excellence and rescue work.
Dr. Jeff Vidt, a veterinarian with WSVA since 2007, examined the cat and found his condition horrifying. He had been neglected in such a way that his legs atrophied. He could eat, but he couldn’t stand much less move. In addition, his fur, thickly covered in his own waste, was severely matted which is very painful for an animal.
“At our hospital we are fortunate to see the wonderful care our own clients provide to their pets,” said WSVA owner Dr. Alan Main. “However, our hearts break for the many mistreated dogs and cats in the world. We all have an obligation to give back to our community.”
The first order of business was to shave off the matted fur which was very difficult due to the amount of burned fur and the density of the matting. Next was to help the cat regain his strength and the use of his legs. Then, the entire staff offered what medicine can’t – unconditional love.
They named him Firecat.
Laser therapy and pain medication were used for the burns. Antibiotics and ointments were also part of healing. Very important was exercise.
“Our technicians designed a gentle obstacle course for him at lunchtime, incentivized by treats,” said Janet Mazzocco, practice manager. “At first it was once around the island in the treatment area. Slowly, we increased his challenges as he grew stronger.”
Today Firecat is 100 percent well. The surgical section of the hospital is off limits, but when allowed, Firecat likes to visit staff members. He is never caged even at night. His bed is in a cozy corner in the cat ward.
“He’s his own little man,” Mazzocco said. “He is sweet, lovable and feisty. Actually he’s more like a dog. His favorite food is turkey, and amazingly, he fears nothing and no one. He’s just the coolest cat.”
The end of the story is very happy. Firecat has been adopted by a WSVA employee – Patrick Hurley – who will give him a loving home and take him along his journey as he pursues veterinary medicine at Virginia Tech.
“We will miss him terribly,” Mazzocco said, “but we are thrilled he’s found a loving home with Patrick. We will still get to see Firecat when Patrick brings him in for his yearly check up.”
For more than 60 years, West Suburban Veterinary Associates (WSVA), has provided the highest quality veterinary care for pets in the western Chicago suburbs. Under veterinarian Dr. Alan Main’s leadership, WSVA became the first general practice in the area to offer the following: in-house ultra-sound, digital X-ray, digital dental X-ray, laser surgery, cold laser therapy, laparoscopic surgeries and stem cell therapy. Dr. Main, the other veterinarians, technicians, assistants and support staff are devoted to the welfare of rescue animals, and each believes in giving back to the community by working closely with the West Suburban Humane Society, Hinsdale Humane Society and many other local rescue shelters.
For more information about WSVA call 630-968-4212.