Saving Yoda the Cat

Yoda - Before & After

Yoda is one of those rescue success stories that I’ve had the privilege to observe from Day 1. His progress was updated on my Facebook profile over the months of recovery but I wanted to put the whole story in one place so one of those stupid clickbait sites can steal it, pretend it’s their content, cater to people who don’t know intellectual property even if it walked up to them on the street and slapped them in the face, and reap ad traffic while leaving nothing for the people who did the work and paid the bills. Because the Internet is great like that. Anyway, back to the cat…

 Important note!

The following entries were copied over from my Facebook page for record. Some of them might be in present tense, but this case is now closed. Yoda found a home and the leftover funds have been donated to a local animal welfare group. I have tried stripping out donation updates without losing too much context or confusing people into thinking it’s a current case. Do not offer to send money. Instead, look into the needs of animal welfare groups or NGOs in your area. Thanks!

The first image might be slightly disturbing to viewers who can only view animals that are perfect and cute.

I named the kitten ‘Tripod’ on the first day because we expected him to lose a leg. His new owner renamed him ‘Yoda’.

This post contains a lot of images.

Day 1

Tripod was rescued from under the bushes near Tabuan Laru Commercial Centre on Sept 11. I have no clue how he got there or where he came from.

At Animal Central, they found that the tip of his tail is “dead” and needs to be amputated. His left hind leg is broken in two places. These are old wounds that healed with his leg twisted under him. If left unattended, the broken end might pierce through his skin. An amputation is also recommended. He is also suffering from a list of neglected cat symptoms like ear mites and some skin problems. The vet wants him to take his meds and rest for a week or so before the next step.

He spent the night at the vet while I looked for a foster family.

Day 1
Left: Calmly parked inside a box and under a Good Morning towel while I drove to the vet. Right, from top: Getting his ears cleaned; his damaged tail; his wonky leg and grubby undercarriage.

Day 2

Steph volunteered to foster. We visited so they could meet each other.

Tripod was scared of us at first and cowered in the corner until Steph got him to eat from her fingers. After hunger overcame scardey-cat, he accepted the bowl of food and fed himself.

Bottom right pic shows him inside a cat carrier about to go home with his new foster mum and three bottles of meds.


Day 4

Steph reports that Tripod has a healthy appetite, takes his meds without complaint and just generally being manja.

“Update: he is eating, pooping, meowing and walking,” she messaged me this evening, along with the two photos you see here.


Day 5

Our young feline friend continues to be affectionate and grubby. Grubby because the vet said not to bathe him at the moment.

Day 5

Day 7

Today Steph asked about the next vet visit. I asked if Tripod was faster stronger better. (Clearly my Daft Punk was half bucket of water only.) She said he’s cuter noisier and nosier. He’s also keen on exploring and walking around. I’ve asked Dot for the cage so he has more room to stretch out. Tripod’s also been itchier. There’s a skin condition to look at so she’s taking him in tomorrow for an overall assessment. I’ll join her if work doesn’t get in the way.

Day 7

Day 8

Bad news first.

I’m afraid we will have to change Tripod’s name to Quadpod because, good news, he’s likely to keep that leg.

So vet visit at 2pm. Tripod is doing well. Dr Davies said that being a young cat, his chances of getting back full use of the leg is good. The bone is still growing but they don’t want to pin the joints together now or he’ll end up one leg short. He received three injections to help with bone repair and to help with his mites problem.

He’s due back in a week for his next check up.

Day 8

Day 15

Not gonna lie – Tripod is starting to look like a large mobile meowing scab. It was off to the vet for his weekly visit today. He had antifungal and mites treatment for his ears. His leg is shaping up, and he’s doing what kittens so and is growing. Steph reports that he is shedding scabs and fur. His prescription this week is antifungal everything.


Day 15

Day 20

TriYoda is looking less like a scab and more like a naked mole rat. He looks a bit scary in the second photo because I used a filter that brought out his skin colour.

Steph said that it’s hard to get photos of him because he won’t stay still. A moving hungry kitty is good news!

Day 20

Day 21

Tripod went to the toilet by himself today, I was told. Still scratching a little, enjoying the sunshine, and a fine layer of fur growing back!

Day 21

Day 22

Vet trip yesterday. Dr Davies said that the leg is healing up nicely and the tail doesn’t need amputation because the dead part is about to drop off on its own.

He (the cat, not the vet) gets a vaccination and a dose of ibervectin (anti parasitic). His fur is coming back in a fine layer.

Steph, who refers to the cat as ‘Yoda’ now for obvious reasons, said he is using the leg like nothing’s wrong with it. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.


Day 30

Thirty days after picking up a mess of a small feline from under a bush, after mites and skin problems, a broken leg and broken tail, and looking like a hairless walking belly for a week – look at him now.

A big shoutout goes to Steph for being an ace foster mum – making sure Yoda gets his vet visits, meds, food and love!

Next vet visit is the coming Saturday. It doesn’t look it, but his leg is still broken.

In the bottom right pic, he’s trying to say hi to the resident cat Charlotte.


Day 37

The best news from the most recent vet visit is this: Yoda will have none of this surgery business and already fixed his own leg. Dr Davies said that the break is joining up by itself.

See that dark spot on his hind leg? That’s where a broken bone fragment used to poke out. It had gone back inside and will probably dissolve on its own.

He got another shot of antifungal, a hair growth shot and an antibacterial cream for the spot on his thigh where the bone still juts out.


Day 51

Apologies for my very late update. I was having a busy couple of weeks and this photo is from Nov 1, Yoda’s last vet visit. And I gotta put this out there: who is this handsome fella?

It was also the first time Dr Alicja was seeing him after his very first visit, when it looked like he wasn’t going to survive. She was surprised!

Yoda is doing very well. He is almost at the end of his recovery phase. All he got this visit was an antifungal (if I remember correctly) shot. Steph reminded me that his next follow-up is this Saturday, and it might involve him coming home two-balls short.


Day 93 – morning

A quick update to say that Yoda is getting his balls snipped today. Any moment now, actually. Let’s wish him a problem-free journey to eunuch-hood!


Day 93 – afternoon

These are photos of Yoda the Destroyer after he was picked up from the vet’s, following a necessary little procedure. It’s been 93 days (95, if you count this post being two days late) since his rescue.

He is officially fixed, physically and, uh, physically. He is healthy and active. He is safe with his forever home. After spending nearly 100 days mending with his fosters – Steph and the Chan family – he stole hearts and they’re keeping him. I couldn’t wish for a better future for him.

Join me in wishing Yoda a long and happy life.


The Day Before Christmas Eve

Just before Christmas, Yoda came down with a case of stomach flu, as Steph discovered at the vet after a couple of days of refusing food. It was a very quick fix as almost immediately after two injections and some meds, Yoda was out in the garden hunting birds.


The last of 2015

As the year drew to a close, I also want to close this case. Yoda’s rehabilitation would not be possible without the generous donations of many people who heard his story. There was so much money left over because the amputation did not materialise and I want to make sure it goes people who are dedicated to animal welfare.

I support a non-profit volunteer group called SOS Save Our Strays Kuching, whose active members pitch in with rescue operations, trapping, neutering, and feeding. They run up huge vet bills every month with the cases they handle and it’s all eventually paid off by donors and supporters. I’m topping up the balance of Yoda’s funds (RM1,835.60) and sending RM2,000 their way.

can pay bills liaw
It’s a done deal.

I’ll leave you with these final photos of Yoda being cosy at home.

Yoda the Destroyer

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