ASPCA Happy Tails: Baskets of Love
At the ASPCA, we know that every animal has a story to tell. Each day, we meet dogs and cats who have been rescued from cruelty, abuse or neglect, but because they can’t speak, we don’t always know where their injuries and ailments come from. Despite this, our expert medical team is adept at giving a voice to these victims—and at making difficult decisions based off of limited information. In the case of one cat named Augustine, the loss of one limb translated into hope for a better life. Here is his Happy Tail.
Augustine arrived at the ASPCA Animal Hospital on February 2. The 11-month-old tabby had been found as a stray in the Bronx, New York, and was suffering from severe wounds on his hind end. Because of the nature of his rescue, we had few clues as to what had happened or why, but our veterinarians knew that they had to act fast. In order to protect Augustine from severe, painful scarring and long-term discomfort, they amputated his left hind leg and also performed a neuter operation. He spent the next week in the hospital recovering, and was then transferred into a temporary foster home where he could receive extra attention and get used to his new anatomy.
Around this same time, Jamie B. and his wife, Deborah, were contemplating pet adoption. They had recently lost one of their two beloved cats, 16-year-old Rory, to cancer, and were finally ready to open their heart and home to a new feline friend. Ironically, they passed by the ASPCA’s Mobile Adoption Center in Union Square on their way to the ASPCA Adoption Center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There, they spent an hour or so meeting all of the cats, but nothing was clicking. “We were told, however, that there was a sweet young male named Augustine out on the Mobile Adoption truck, and that we could wait for the truck to return and meet him,” Jamie recalls. “So we sat in the lobby of the Adoption Center and waited, watching as happy new owners walked out with excited new pets, wondering whether or not we would soon be joining them.”
Fortunately, their patience paid off: Shortly after the Mobile Adoption vehicle returned, Jamie and Deborah met Augustine and felt that “click” they had been looking for. “Everyone had such great things to say about him—how charming, friendly and loving he was,” Jamie says, “and everyone was right!” After spending less than ten minutes with Augustine in the play room, Jamie and Deborah were certain that the sweet orange kitty was meant for them.
Back at their home in Brooklyn, the couple planned to ease Augustine into his new life slowly. They began by setting him up in their bathroom so he could get comfortable before meeting their other cat, ten-year-old Miss Velvet, but the transition was easier than expected and the two cats were eager to meet face to face. It was clear that Augustine was ready to begin his new life as a pet, so the couple gave him a new name to go with it: Baskets.
Jamie says that Baskets did encounter one bump in the road early on, when his leg injury began acting up. “He was showing signs of pain—limping, falling, and biting at the area where his leg used to be. He had been so excited, running around in his new home while still getting used to life on three legs that he hurt himself,” Jamie says. They took him back to the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where veterinarian Dr. Maren Krafchik helped remedy the situation. “She was great—knowledgeable, compassionate and understanding, and she sent us home with some pain meds and followed up with us the next day.”
After that, it was smooth sailing for Baskets. Jamie says that he has continued to grow and improve day by day. “In fact, he amazes us with his speed and agility,” he says proudly. “Sure, he’s a little clumsy at times, but aren’t we all?”
We are so happy that Baskets has found the loving home of his dreams. If you would like to help give more animals like Baskets a second chance, please consider making a gift to the ASPCA today.