+90 507 563 84 15 ann@akennedy.co.uk Kuşadası, Turkey

The story of tiny kitten Tilly

Another Kitten Stole our Hearts

When our darling three-legged Disabled Danyel (nick-named Üç) drowned in our site pool at the beginning of the year, part of us died with him. He was so very loved that we vowed we’d never again allow a kitten to capture and break our hearts.

A year ago we’d agreed to offer respite care to Papatya, the wildest cat ever, our feisty, untouchable, spitting, yowling, clawing house-guest for 9 months, until we were eventually able to entice her outside, where she’s now our ‘on-the-back-garden-table’ cat . . . who reinforced our pledge never to take in another feline . . .

However, three months ago a neighbour knocked on my door. She’d rescued a tiny kitten, a road traffic accident victim, who’d been abandoned in the gutter with a broken pelvis and paralysed hind paw. She’d paid the vet fees but needed somebody to care for kitty, as she was returning to Ankara and her father was allergic to cats.

Initially I refused . . . but when our neighbour said that if I didn’t take her, the kitten would be taken to the dogs shelter, how could I possibly say ‘no’?

We massaged Tilly’s paralysed paw every day and took her to the vet for daily painkilling and vitamin injections . . . but after two weeks her hip didn’t seem to be improving. Luckily my granddaughter Gigi came to visit – she’s studying to be a vet at London RVC . . . and she said that although it was unlikely to be possible in Turkey, as she was aware that in the UK it was a very expensive operation, the best possible option would be to have the pelvis pinned.

I mentioned this to the vet, who suggested that vet Nevzat might be able to help us, as he had funding available from a German animal charity.

After x-raying the kitten Nevzat was hesitant – Tilly was tiny . . . would she survive the anaesthetic . . . would the pinning work? But nevertheless, although he couldn’t guarantee success, Nevzat was willing to give it a go.

Amazingly Tilly quickly recovered and post-operation was able to walk, although with a strange gait, with gammy rear leg sometimes hooked over the good one. And her foot remained paralysed so she was placing the back of her paw, not the pads, on the ground.

We wondered whether Tilly’s paw could be persuaded to turn by being splinted . . . and this is exactly what Nevzat did. Despite her stiff back leg and ungainly collar, which prevented her from loosening the dressing, Tilly was as curious, naughty and hungry as a kitten should be. She would spend many hours sitting at the flyscreened door gazing out at the other kitts playing in the garden, desperate to join them and make friends.

After a couple of weeks (it’s truly amazing how rapidly kittens heal) the bandages and collar came off – and after a short recuperation Tilly started walking, then running, with a stiff back leg but initially on tippy toes and eventually with her pads on the ground.

I was approached the following day by an angel named Özden, who offered Tilly a forever home. Özden’s own dearly beloved calico cat had recently died, the victim of a road traffic accident. I was reluctant at first to let Tilly go – she had become one of the family – but when I met Özden I realised that she would give her a good home.

I’ve since visited Sisi, as she is now called, and I’m amazed how well she’s progressed. She runs, jumps and she’s developing normally. All thanks to vet Nevzat’s skill and care.

And Sisi has a friend . . . Özden’s other cat, Boncuk, who accepted her immediately without problem. They get on very well – playing and cuddling up together – a purrfect ending.

what a happy end for Tilly the cat