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St Anne's Veterinary Group Blog

» Sammy's Story from Skopelos

One of our clients met a little cat on holiday on a Greek island and fell in love with her. Alone, poorly and unloved she would have died on the streetsif it wasn't for this determined lady. She is finishing her treatment with us and is doing really well! In her owners words, here is Sammy's story:

Who would have thought that returning from our week away in Skopelos, that we would bring back not a souvenir bottle of olive oil but a tiny white kitten that had been attacked by a snake and who everyone just passed by.

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So the story begins with such a sweet but injured 6 month old kitten, probably ignored because her neck injuries had gone unheeded for about a month and so she now had necrotising fasciitis, which in itself looked disgusting and no doubt would have soon resulted in maggots eating her neck.

Having been told by the hotel reception that this was 'nature' and she would soon die, I exploded as only animal loving Brits do, insisting that the hotel owner arrange for a vet or a pet basket to be made available so that little Sammy, as now named by my daughter and her best friend, could be taken to the vets for appropriate treatment.

Our first attempt at capturing her failed abysmally that evening, so the following morning before others arose I spotted her by the pool and tempted her over with some sardines we had bought from the supermarket.  I had the cat basket ready, and a towel doubled over and as she happily gorged herself I gently grabbed her and successfully got her into the basket.....unfortunately I received a few lacerations down my arm in doing so, and we had to make a rushed pit stop at the medical centre for antibiotics before our onward journey to the vets in Skopelos town.

Boy, was I reprimanded by the vet initially, as I had made the basket comfortable with a fluffy towel and cardboard underneath and therefore jammed the "crush cage" element which they use in order to administer injections to stray cats!  Having removed all my creature comfort items and sedated Sammy he was aghast at how much smelly sardines she then regurgitated........!

He immediately advised us of two facts, namely this was a very bad snake bite, and she was in the early stages of pregnancy.  He cleaned up her wound of all the pus and gave her an antibiotic injection.  The issue would be whether they could repeat the process on following days, or if she was too wild.  Over the next few days our holiday was consumed with concern as to how well she would respond to treatment, and then he popped the question! No, not THAT one.....rather would I like to take her back to the UK with me? If this was going to happen I would need to act quickly to fulfil all the airline requirements, if permitted at all.  By this stage I was thinking I needed another holiday, where there weren't any cats, as this had been a very traumatic experience.  The response from the airline was a flat no!

Dimitris, the kind vet with gorgeous big brown eyes, put me in contact with a Greek charity that arranges a pet chauffeur service throughout Europe, and after much negotiating we succeeded in securing Sammy's place.  She would go with the dolphin (please do not ask!!!) to Volos on mainland Greece and then travel to England with 9 other rescued cats and dogs.  What a stressful journey, as it took 3 days for her to reach us and the handover at 4am at Clacket Lane services on the M25 in exchange for a wad of notes must have looked a tad suspicious.

 

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We kept Sammy in a calm, quiet room now filled with wonderful new kitten toys allowing her to adjust to her new environment.  On the advice of Dimitris she had been neutered and her kittens aborted, as she was so malnourished none of them would have stood a chance of survival.  So all she had to do was gradually realise that she was now safe, with a regular source of healthy food, games to stimulate her hunting skills for when she is allowed out, lots of cuddles and affection, the occasional trip to the vets when I am normally reduced to a soaking wet wreck from trying to catch her and our gorgeous small black lab whose tail is a great target area (naughty kitten!), and to pounce on me at 5am somehow mistaking me for a big mouse that needs a serious amount of pounding with little paws!!!

We still have some way to go, but her wound is now significantly reduced in size, her singed ears are starting to regrow the fur, her belly is now a happy rounded size from food and she purrs like a pneumatic drill.  Welcome to your new lovely life darling Sammy
 

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