CHENNAI: A week ago, a stray cat at Villivakkam did something quite routine. He jumped. Unfortunately, this cat’s ‘high’ jump left him literally ‘hanging’ and in pain, according to animal activists who were appalled by the picture uploaded on social media recently.
The cat landed on the tall spikes on the gate that this unfortunate feline chose to leap over.
Devika Khazvini of Cattitude Trust says, “I think the choice to have a design like this is cruel because it only affects animals. Spikes on gates and glass shards on walls are used to deter burglars. But any man can cover it with a thick cloth or find some other way.”
Other animal rights activists who heard about the incident said this issue had already been raised with house owners and building associations. “But they are usually unreceptive,” says T V Shatrugan, an IT professional who takes care of 12 cats at home.
Fortunately for the feline that sparked this debate, the moment the Blue Cross of India got the call, the answer was ‘Yes’. “We reached the address at Villivakkam an hour after the call,” recalls the general manager, Blue Cross, Dawn Williams. And the poor animal
was even more agitated that day because there was a large crowd around him, with a brave few attempting the rescue even before the experts arrived.
“But cats can scratch and bite when they are in distress so nobody managed it before we got there,” Dawn says. Volunteers managed to remove the cat from the spike, aptly named it ‘Cliffhanger’ and took it for emergency surgery.
“Fortunately, the spike that pierced through the back to the abdomen was only through muscle and skin, not the intestines,” the veterinarian R Siva said. And after a 90-minute surgery, Cliffhanger has now recovered fully. Hopefully, he won’t be trying another leap anytime soon. And when he does, cat lovers in the city hope he has a safe landing.