As satisfying as it is to send Joey Phipps into harm’s way, stand back while he risks life and dignity to rescue a terrified kitten and then bask in the ticker tape parade of goodwill, sometimes using our experience to help a pet parent get her little one back on track without excessive credit card trauma is equally rewarding.
Three weeks ago, we received a message from an anxious mom whose cat Jerry had fractured his leg at 2:00 AM. Pulled from a car engine covered with grime and fleas a year ago, Jerry had cleaned up great and become a sturdy centerpiece in her young family. He was now stuck at a local ER with a limp paw, and Mom was stressing over a $3,000 bill for work to date and a $6,000 estimate for the orthopedic fix. The only cheaper option? Amputation. Mom wasn’t looking for a handout, just advice, her kids were worried sick and Stephanie Yeats Cymanski pointed her to us. Could we help?
After reviewing the bill, X-rays and estimate, we responded that we’re not a vet but we’ve seen a few scuffed up cats, and to us at least, it looked like Jerry wasn’t going to die. If it was us, and we were worried about the brat in our own lap, we’d tell the ER to box that furry body pillow up and hustle him over to our favorite vets for another look. Relieved, Mom did just that and within the hour, the big fella was in the KF queue and Mom was in off the ledge.
Later that day, we received the assessment—femoral head break, straightforward fix for those in the know, Jerry’s pudge might be an issue, but been there, done that a bunch of times and the surgery could be done the next day for a fraction of the cost quoted elsewhere. And yes, Jerry's keeping the leg. Ecstatic, Jerry’s mom greenlit the work.
Late the next morning, we sent a photo with Jerry relaxing in recovery—ready to go home. Boom! As soon as school broke, Mom fishtailed to a stop in the parking lot, and her little ones burst through the front door. Once everyone caught their breath, they were handed their furry squishpillow with strict instructions to let him use the leg, but no jumping or rough housing. Thrilled and thankful to have their beefy buddy back, Mom and minions assured us they’d send us updates on his recovery.
As promised, Mom sent photos of Jerry at home and couldn’t be more appreciative of the guidance, but the treat of the week was receiving drawings from her little ones thanking us for our help. We’re better at analyzing X-rays than art, but we think the pieces capture the emotion of the moment and the talent is undeniable. The message for everyone else? It’s in the post. Jerry.