Physically challenged animals
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Tanya ! Tortoiseshell - My Beautiful Girl !


Meet Tanya , who is now up in the Heaven’s with many Angels.

Tanya was a lovely female cat who I used to feed on the street  in 2002.  

I would go every evening to keep food for her in one of the buildings in my street.  One fine day Tanya disappeared and like any outdoor cat who likes to wander, I thought she perhaps wandered, wanting to seek a adventure. A day passed by and then 2 days past by. Slowly I started getting worried and extremely anxious.

Tanya did not come even after a week, when I felt maybe she expired. I still used to go to call her daily at the place she would normally be resting and each day I would return back with the food. Slowly ,  I lost hope and tried to reconcile hoping and praying she is safe with God. Almost a month later, as I was feeding the other cats,  I saw a very weak wobbly thing appear from the dark. She was frail and just a skeleton and her mouth was huge and swollen .  I recognized it was Tanya!! I immediately picked her up from the dark and carried her home, as she looked injured and starved.

As I took a careful look, Tanya had suffered a broken jaw, and it was dislocated.  There was an injury inside her mouth, injury to her jaw and no wonder she had turned frail as she possibly could not have eaten or drank anything. She was alive and still managed to come from nowhere made me see that God had a bigger plan. With a mixture of emotions, happy to have at last found her and sad as she was in a weak and abused state, I tried force feeding her a little, but to no avail.  I took her the next morning to the hospital and after all the required x-rays and checking her already weak condition, it was decided by the vets that she be given supportive treatment till she improves. Tanya showed a improvement and then  she underwent surgery a couple of days later. The surgery was done on her lower jaw and her mouth had to be wired for 15 days.

It  took a long time but Tanya was recovering slowly. Tanya who loved cat food prior to her accident could not eat solid any more. She was then taken into the shelter for physically challenged cats in 2003 and her healing was monitored. This shelter was a joint project with the Animal hospital and Maureen and Fred Polasky our Vice Patrons. I saw her transform from a abused traumatized cat fragile and frail, to a healthy cat again, although with a crooked jaw. Tanya now looked as though she displayed a smirk to the world.  She gained back her strength, her swelling of the mouth had subsided,  and she looked up at me with big eyes and a lop sided jaw. She looked just beautiful. Tanya was kept on a liquid diet for a few months and gradually given chicken mince which she adored.

Chicken mince was her favourite as she no longer could bite cat food and could not eat rice. Boiled fish was another of her delicacies. In this way, Tanya was with us healthy, playful and eating the food she loved till Dec 2004.

Tanya expired of renal failure in Dec 2004 but lived a comfortable life and was given all the joys after her accident.Like Tanya, there are many cats who suffer from broken jaws and need to be rescued. Most of these  injuries are sometimes a result of car accidents, but very often are a result of cruelty, whereby the animal is kicked in the face with a hard solid shoe, or  they have fallen on their face  or the animal is thrown from a height causing it injury to its jaw.

Once rescued, and treated such cats  have to be monitored for life. They cannot be released back on the street or into the wild. This is a physical challenge and cats with broken jaws need a sheltered life where they will be provided special food which they can eat as slowly as they want to and swallow without much effort

I see Tanya smiling from above !!   

- Written by Priya Shindurnikar