Experts say it’s a myth that cats have a higher pain threshold than humans. In truth, our receptors fire much the same way, and with the exception of that video of you and Don Julio or your most recent trip to the pump, what’s painful for you is painful for your cat. Ah, but those experts never knew Tink, Olive, Halo and Marble—little furry bad-asses pulled from hard streets of the nickel nickel nine stoic with injuries that would leave the toughest Navy Seal howling for morphine and a lawyer.
Take Tinker, a Siamese kitten who caught her leg in a fence, severed most of it struggling to get free and was rescued by a Starbucks staffer rewarded for her efforts with a vet quote that offering similar trauma to her credit card. We’re a Dunkin’ Donuts house, but something about fluffy kitten throwing “TF you looking at?” shade reminded us of home and we agreed to get her in for repairs. Three days later, Tink is dashing around like a barista with corporate onsite, and gravity? That’s for chumps.
Or Olive, a spicy calico also found hanging upside down from a fence and now dragging a rear leg with exposed bone and rotting flesh. Anywhere else she’s PTS, but she went into surgery last Friday—a success—and has transformed from a “Ima cut you!” feral into a “Oh…is that tuna?” kind of girl. She’ll need more work to shed the road grime, but she’s moving, eating and purring great and you’d never know she’s but a few days removed from mind-bending torture.
Or Halo, a little gray kitten snatched from a busy street with a mangled leg, lacerations and scuffed up noggin. Halo was in first thing Monday at the vet and impressed the waiting room with her ambivalence to the bone sticking out of her leg. “What’s she in for?” “Compound fracture, head trauma, maybe a hernia…” “OMG. Wait, is she purring?” Halo’s leg was beyond saving, but the amputation and hernia repair went fine, and within an hour of surgery, she was standing up. “These little ones are SO tough…”
Of course, it doesn’t always work out. Last month we took in Marble, a black long hair pulled from a rough neighborhood with a throat injury fouled with infection and maggots. We kept her comfortable over the weekend, but the exam report was awful and the pics (you don’t want to see them) even worse. Exposed chest cavity and jugular, organ trauma, positive for FIV and severe liver damage, a mouthful of broken teeth and half a paw. I made the decision let Marble go knowing comfort and love and it still haunts me that I gave up on her before she did.
In each of these cases, the little one reacted to appalling trauma like you and I might to unexpected traffic and whether or not their pain tolerance exceeds ours, there’s inspiration in their indifference to hardship. Thanks in advance for any help you can spare to help fund these fixes and the dozens of others like it that our crew nurtures to health every day. Tinker, Olive, Halo and Marble (RIP).