A stray cat left roaming the streets with a horrific facial injury has found his forever home with the caring student veterinary nurse who helped to save his life.
Scar is recovering after undergoing emergency surgery at Rutland House Referrals in St Helens on a gruesome face and neck wound thought to have been caused in a fight with another cat.
He was spotted by Emma Lamb sitting on her garden fence of her home in Huyton, Liverpool, but it took six weeks to coax the terrified tabby into a carrier to take him to Rutland House Referrals, where she works in their hospital as a student veterinary nurse, for urgent treatment to the open wound.
It was so severe, there were fears the three-year-old moggy wouldn’t survive. Vet Joe Higgins had to remove his eye and perform a skin graft in a delicate hour-long operation.
Scar, who has been named after a lion in The Lion King, has now been permanently adopted by Emma and her partner Dale Harding after appeals to find the stray’s owner failed.
Dr Higgins, Surgical Registrar at Rutland House Referrals, said: “Scar came in with a nasty, chronic wound on the side of his neck and face, extending up to the side of his eye, and he couldn’t blink. We talked about reconstructing his eyelid, but this would have required him likely needing eye drops permanently and he was getting fed up of treatment, so Emma opted for us to take the eye out.
“Surgery was relatively straightforward, although the main risks are infection and wound breakdown. I was very happy with the immediate results of the surgery and he’s made a lovely recovery. It’s not clear what caused the injury as it was so chronic. If I was a betting man, I’d say it was likely due to a fight wound, which then broke down and became infected. He’s just been a little trooper.
“It’s incredibly satisfying seeing his new life with Emma. She’s an amazing person with a heart of gold and what she’s done for him is incredible. I did the surgery but she’s done 95% of the hard work looking after him so all credit must go to her for giving him the chance. I’m sure he’s going to have a lovely life with her and his life on the streets will be a distant memory.”
Scar is making good progress after his ordeal and is now living a life of luxury with Emma and her partner Dale Harding, a paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service.
“He is dealing with having one eye really well and everything is looking really positive,” said Emma. “He has settled into his new home really well and we love having him as he is my first cat. He’s happy living indoors now and loves sprawling on the window ledge in the warm sunshine. I had to dress all of his wounds and, now I’m a student veterinary nurse, I’ll be doing this a lot more, so it has given me great training and confidence to do my job.”
Emma added: “I can’t thank Joe and the team here enough for what they have done for him.”