Charlie the cat certainly lost some of his nine lives after hitting a double-decker bus near his Ilkeston home – but thanks to PDSA vets, he’s survived to tell the ‘tail’.
Against the odds – having suffered some of the worts injuries vets had ever seen – the black and white moggy is now back to full strength, to the delight of his owner Ann Martin.
“It was the best feeling in the world when I called PDSA for my daily update and they said Charlie could come home,” said Ann, 38.
“I have three children who adore him and our dog, Poppy, was lost without his feline companion to play with.
“It was like we were missing a member of the family and we were all very worried he wouldn’t pull through.”
The horrific drama unfolded before helpless neighbours’ eyes in March when little Charlie – who weighs just 5kg – dashed across a busy main road near his home.
He was no match for the seven-tonne bus and, according to PDSA vet Chris Furniss, his life was hanging in the balance.
“Just one look at Charlie told us his situation was critical and we had to act fast to save him,” he said.
“His list of injuries was vast and many were life-threatening on their own right, but it was his internal injuries that concerned us the most, which were affecting his ability to breathe.
“His breathing stopped at one point and we had to insert an oxygen tube to manually breathe for him.
“Without urgent attention they could easily have proved fatal so the odds were completely against him.”
Charlie’s catalogu of injuries included a ruptured diaphragm – his stomach, spleen and small intestine, which should have been in his abdomen, were instead in his chest.
His spleen was so badly damaged it had to be removed and surgery was required to mend his badly broken back legs.
But three lots of emergency surgery helped to save the one-year-old kitty’s life.
“It’s been a difficult few months,” said Ann.
“The first week after he came home he was feeling very sorry for himself, and didn’t really want to venture out from his cage.
“But once he started feeling better it was a challenge to get him to rest!”
Chris added: “Charlie had some of the worst injuries I’ve ever encountered in my 14 year career.
“The fact that he’s gone onto make a complete recovery is an absolute miracle.
“His injuries required intricate and complex surgery.
“We regularly treat pets involved in road traffic accidents – but I’ve never heard of one taking on a bus before.“
Ann and Charlie have been back to PDSA several times since he was discharged for follow-up appointments to check he’s recovering properly.
Overall Charlie has clocked up just under £2,500 worth of treatment since his accident. Ann said: “I’m so incredibly grateful to PDSA. The treatment and care they have provided Charlie has been first class, we would have been lost without them.”
For more information about PDSA visit www.pdsa.org.uk.