was wearing a pink flea color when I found him lying there on the side of the road. I had just arrived at work in Pullman, Wa. when my coworker told me she saw a cat get hit by the car in front of her on her way into work. I asked when and where, and if he was still alive after he got hit. Then I immediately jumped in my car to find him. I thought for sure he would be dead. It had been a half hour since he was hit. There he was, lying there in the gravel under the hot summer sun. As I swung the car around I saw him struggling to raise himself. He was panting rapidly, clearly in shock. One of his eyes was red and bulging. I carefully put him on the passenger seat and raced to the veterinary hospital at the Washington State University. I thought he would die in my car during the 4 minute trip to the hospital. He was throwing himself about. I ran inside with him and in literally 10 seconds someone came and took him to the intensive care unit. I waited for a little while at the hospital then went back to work. I called a couple hours later and they said he was stabile. That afternoon when I called they said that he started crashing so they gave him a blood transfusion and that restabilized him.

Simon stayed in the ICU for about 3-4 weeks. His tail had to be amputated and one of his front legs was broken and had to be pinned with an external fixator - a splendid contraption compared with the conventional plaster cast! Simon also had a broken jaw and did not eat on his own. He had a feeding tube inserted into his esophagus and had to be fed a cat food puree manually. His eye returned to normal. When it was time for Simon to be discharged, I took him home to his own recovery room. My mom and I took turns feeding him through his tube and cleaning his skin around the tube and leg pins. After the first week Simon was beginning to eat for the first time through his mouth. The next week we brought him to WSU and they removed his feeding tube. Every two weeks thereafter, we took him to WSU for progress reports and checkups. After 8 weeks Simon was starting to explore the house and meet the other cats. At 10 weeks, the pins in his leg and external fixator were removed. Simon was back to normal, minus a tail, which he didn't seem to miss. Soon Simon discovered the cat door and took his first steps outside in unfamiliar territory. He was so happy and raced back and forth among the hawthorn trees and in and out through the cat door.

I could never find Simon's original family. I posted signs around where I found him and called the shelters and vet clinics to see if anyone reported a missing cat. Because Simon technically had no owners, his care at the WSU Veterinary Hospital did not cost us any money. The money to care for him came from a special fund for this type of circumstance.


Simon with his external fixator holding the pins on his broken leg.


Simon loves to lay on laps and claw legs at suppertime as he begs for a treat. He loves all the other cats and curls up with them on the couch as if he has been here all his life. If there is any sign of a cat brawl, he runs in to break it up. Although Simon appears to be neutered, he doesn't think so and occasionally chooses a cat (or a dog) to gaft a hold of. Perhaps the car accident has affected that part of his brain??





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