Hoppy was a ‘feral’ cat. The description of ‘feral’ is in inverted commas because I am not sure he was totally feral but he certainly lived a hard life and it took its toll.
He was found by the person who owns and runs the Photographers for Animals website, Elizabeth Putsché. Hoppy has been with them for a year, as I understand it. He is being fostered by Elizabeth and family.
To date the veterinary bill for Hoppy is $7583.57. More veterinary treatments are required as is more money (PoC donated $20 by PayPal).
The major costs are related to three surgeries of (a) removal of his right eye (b) removal of his teeth (all of them it seems) and (b) removal of a tumor in his chin ($1,500).
In addition Hoppy is FIV positive. He has improved hugely with all the tender loving care and expense, which is wonderful.
I think it is fantastic but….I have asked myself this question (and I believe others might ask the same question): Would this large sum of money have been better spent in saving and helping the many rather than one?
I am not saying I agree with that question. It just needs asking. In any other environment or under other circumstances such as in a shelter he’d have been euthanised. That does not mean it is right to do that. It just means that with limited funding choices and priorities have to be made.
Elizabeth did have to make some big decisions. For example the decision to remove the chin tumor had to be made carefully to ensure that enough of the jaw remained for Hoppy to eat normally. Otherwise his quality of life would be so poor that euthanasia would have been the better choice. Incidentally, Elizabeth sought a second opinion about his chin. At one time it was thought to be acne (dermatologist appointment cost $239.00). A feline dentist recommended a second opinion. On her first look at it, Dr Buerger DVM said she thought it was cancer.
Demonstrating the typical stoicism and resilience of cats, Hoppy was grooming himself within a day of the operation on his chin.
This is a great story of valuing the domestic cat. It is a fine example of that. Each cat has equal value. This cat wouldn’t have had a chance almost anywhere else.
I have always liked the idea of “Photographers for Animals” – using photography to improve the lives of animals. I guess it is based on the maxim that a picture is worth a thousand words.