Monday Miracle
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Riley, Hit by a Car and Expected to Die, Now Seeks a Home

His body was shattered, yet he lived through multiple surgeries with minor lasting effects.

Phillip Mlynar  |  Jul 18th 2016


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Riley the cat was hit by a car. Most of his entire body shattered. So bad was the skinny grey-and-white chap’s condition, veterinarians working with Tabby’s Place sanctuary could not even determine his gender at first. While it’s safe to assume vets see cats with some graphic and brutal injuries, Riley was so broken and disfigured that Dr. Laura Collins and senior veterinary technician Denise Jeffries were at a loss for words when asked to express the severity of his condition.

“Extraordinarily bad,” is how Angela Townsend, the development director at the rescue group, put it.

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Here’s Riley in his early days at Tabby’s Place.

That was in April. Riley has somehow overcome the odds and is now in a position where he’s looking for his forever family. Here’s how he did it.

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Understandably, he was a little zonked out at first.

Riley was rushed to Tabby’s Place and examined.

“His prognosis that first night was very grave indeed,” recalls Angela. “The emergency vet cautioned us not to hold out much hope for Riley’s survival.”

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A feeding tube was part of Riley’s recovery.

In technical terms, Riley needed to recover from a swollen brain that was enclosed inside a fractured skull, lungs peppered with contusions, a shattered femur, and a hip bone that had been ripped from its joint.

Even if Riley were to survive his first night’s intensive care session, further surgeries would be needed (along with guarding against future brain-related complications).

None of this seemed to impress Riley much, to the point where he channeled his champion spirit and began recovering against almost impossible odds.

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On the mend!

After six days of surgery and medical attention, Riley’s spirit and personality began to shine through to the Tabby’s Place crew.

“He’s extremely sweet,” says Angela, “even while he was still suffering. Even before the swelling had gone down in Riley’s brain, his loving spirit was on full display.

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Just a little lazy eye, nothing more to see here, folks.

He also proved himself to be an exceptionally determined cat, Angela says: “Right after his surgery, he tried with all his might to use his litter box. He didn’t always make it, but we were astounded that he even tried! And, of course, we were more than happy to clean up after him.”

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Gotta love his little half-beard, right?

After coming through his ordeal, Riley has been left with a lazy eye. This is apparently a cosmetic issue more than anything else, although as Collins jokes, “He probably shouldn’t fly a plane solo, but otherwise it shouldn’t really affect him.”

Also, Riley’s nether regions might develop arthritis, or he might have gait-related issues as he gets older, but right now Angela asserts, “He has no chronic issues from his injuries.”

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Possible cat pilot in waiting.

To that end, Riley is now waiting to find his forever home.

“If someone were to come into Tabby’s Place today and fall in love with him, they could absolutely pre-adopt him,” says Angela.

Find out more about Tabby’s Place at the organization’s website. For July, something called the Linda Fund initiative means that any donations will be doubled.