Saving Sunny, the Cat with the Broken Leg and Hip

A neighbor contacted me about a cat lying under a car all day not moving. I immediately went over and found the cat hobbling around, looking for shelter. One of his back legs was swollen and dangling.

This took place during the solar eclipse so I named this cat Sunny, who also remained sweet and sunny during his entire ordeal. I took Sunny immediately to the vet, who said his leg was clearly broken, and he had an open wound already infected. Which means his injuries were not new. You can see the swelling in this photo.

Sunny was sedated for x-rays and his examination. He was so friendly that I also had them fully vaccinate him and test him for FIV/FeLV to get him ready for a foster home. Sunny was not going to go back outside.


The x-rays were alarming. He had a fractured hip, and a leg bone completely broken in two and shifted, about to come though his skin.

He also had a infected wound on his leg.

The vet thought that most likely Sunny’s leg was completely run over by a car’s tire to cause those kinds of injuries. Sunny needed surgery, but the vet wanted to wait until Sunny was more stable – at the time he was in shock and very emaciated. He wanted Sunny to be stabilized with antibiotics and pain meds and to eat for a few days before going under surgery. Whether the leg would be amputated or not because of the severity of the fractures was still unknown.


Sunny’s total vet bill from that visit was $507, including the exam, sedation, x-rays, vaccinations, testing, pain injection, wound treatment, pain medication and antibiotics. Logan Square Animal Hospital was very good to him, and I am very grateful that they let me bring him right in without an appointment.

If you’d like to make a donation to help cover the costs and to help me help more cats like Sunny, you can do so through the PayPal button at the top of this page, or through PayPal at [email protected]


The vet also determined Sunny was about only one years old, tested negative for FIV/FeLV, not neutered or microchipped, and waaayyyy too skinny. Sunny came home with me to rest.

He slept a lot. Getting him to eat was a bit harder, but he did it when I put the plate under his nose.

I made sure he took his pain meds and antibiotics. I was terrified of how much his leg must hurt him, but he was always sweet, even when I forced the liquid meds in his mouth. He purred a lot and sought out pets, although he usually was laying down on his good side.

I knew Sunny was feeling better when he ventured out of his crate when I had my friend ,Taryn, and her children visit. Now we knew Sunny liked kids and other people!

He even would hobble to the litter box and use it, with his back leg dangling. Obviously Sunny had been an indoor pet at some point. How he got outside starving and injured is a mystery.


In the meantime I also called friends and neighbors to see if they could foster Sunny if this turned into a long-term situation. Everyone I contacted said yes. I am immensely grateful for that. Animal rescue truly is a community effort and I encourage everyone to network. Because Sunny was found in our community, the community was willing to help.


I also shared Sunny on social media to see if a rescue organization could help Sunny, because the costs of surgery are high. I was put in touch with Catnap from the Heart, who agreed to treat Sunny and take him into their shelter. I am so thankful for all they have done for him, and donated to them as well. If you’d like to donate to their organization, you can do so through this link.


They stabilized Sunny for a few more days. When he was ready for surgery, they found his injuries were too severe and his entire leg had to be amputated. He was also neutered during this procedure.


In the meantime Taryn contacted them about fostering Sunny. A few days later she was able to pick him up! Sunny was back!


Sunny was greeted by everyone in their house immediately. Their dog, Ripley, and cat, Strategy, are determined to be friends with him, and waiting it out.

Sunny was a little more cautious with them, which is understandable. He has been through a lot, and now needs to heal. His stitches were alarming to see, and the fact he is shaved you can see how skinny he is.

But his sunny demeanor was shining through! He loves to be pet by everyone.

Do you think he remembers me? He’s a pretty grateful cat.

He also has his own personality and in true cat fashion likes to pose. With wine, of course. What could be better? It will be interesting to see how he acts once he is fully healed and without pain. 

Erin says:

I stumbled onto your blog and I would like to say thank you for all that you do. Not many people take the time and money (yes, I do have an inkling of the money it takes) to help cats…even less than those who help dogs, it seems to me.
Take care and keep up the good work.

Vanessa says:

Thank you for the kind words, Erin! It means a lot. Best wishes, Vanessa

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Kitten with a Broken Leg

When we first met Patrice at her colony site, she already had a litter of three kittens in foster care.


She pointed out their mother, Sally, to us. We were able to TNReturn Sally later that week.


Patrice had taken Sally’s kittens to her vet, Family Pet Animal Hospital. Vetting and boarding cost $420.


Samantha and Smokey went into one foster home together. Last week Patrice told me their foster home turned into a foster failure! They are now in their forever home. IMG_0643 FullSizeRender-3

The third kitten, Crunchy, was more complicated. The vet discovered he had a broken rear leg. It was an old break, but he said that it could be repaired with surgery. We have no idea how his leg was broken in the first place.


Crunchy’s surgery was successful, and Patrice’s amazing vet ended up doing it for nominal cost. Not only that, one of the vet techs decided to adopt Crunchy into her home. FullSizeRender-3 copy

Hugs and thanks to Patrice and Family Pet for caring for this colony!

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Kittens Growing Up in Their New Home

Smokey and Samantha are kittens from the Kitchen Colony that Patrice trapped before we met and started helping her.


She found a foster home for them, and is now happy to report they are foster failures! The fosterer decided to adopt them together. IMG_3872

In the meantime their brother, Crunchy, required surgery for his broken leg. He was then adopted by his vet tech.


Patrice fully vetted these cats. Even with discounts and the vet donating most of the costs of the leg surgery, her bills for these three kittens totaled $1186.03.


Here’s one of the vet bills showing the costs. Anyone doing rescue for animals off the street on their own like we do ends up having similar costs with full service vets. Patrice has been going to her vet for twenty years and so they have a mutual respect and trust between each other and for the animals. That is also very important – it reduces unnecessary stress while doing rescue trying to bounce from vet to vet while looking for supposedly the “best prices.”


And like every case, we did reach out to shelters, especially for help with Crunchy, the kitten with the broken leg. We did not get a response, and Patrice moved forward with the vetting as needed. Kittens especially require multiple vet visits as they are taken directly off of the street.


If you’d like to make a donation through Paypal for help with their care, please donated through [email protected]


We are so happy these cats are safe, healthy and off the streets!

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