Written by Nicole Durand
Little Noah’s story is one of tremendous strength and love found in a tiny furry body. He was nearly killed after being run over and lay in the cold for hours. But, despite his injuries, this tabby cat was determined to survive.
Crushed under the wheel of a car
On the 19 June, 2017, our Little Noah slipped out and was crushed under the wheel of a car. It was freezing cold (2°C) and he spent nine hours out there, waiting for us to find him.
And we found him – just in time. We raced him to the Cape Animal Medical Clinic; upon arrival, I feared the worst as they lifted his motionless body from the carrier. His temperature was so low that it was unreadable. He had seven broken ribs, both lungs were contorted, and he’d sustained severe muscle and nerve damage to his front right leg. His chances of survival were slim…
But thanks to some amazing vets, God’s grace and Little Noah’s fighting spirit, he pulled through.
In the ICU
He spent 20 days in the ICU on a feeding tube. The bills rose, so we started a fundraising page (@LittleNoahFund) and soon the donations came flooding in (pun intended). I ended up having to leave for two weeks to Antarctica for work while he was in ICU.
I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him in such a terrible state and not knowing whether I’d be able to communicate with his honorary “godmother”, Leilah, who came in to visit him every evening to cheer him up.
While at the vet, we were told he may never use his injured leg again.
On 25 June, we experienced not one but two miracles. We arrived at the vet for our daily visit and were greeted by the vet with some incredible news. “I want to show you something,” he said. “Squeeze his inner toe as hard as you possibly can.” As I did, Noah squeaked. (For those who know Noah, you’ll know that he doesn’t meow, he squeaks.) And it was like music to my ears! This meant that Noah-bean would probably not need to lose his leg!
Elated, we left and I went to assess the damage on the vet bill at the front desk. “You’re in credit,” said the receptionist. “Uh, no, that’s impossible; there was a lot outstanding yesterday so it should be even more today,” I replied. “Well, it says you have a credit of R1,300.” And there it was: the second miracle of the day. A kind soul had paid R4,000 to Noah’s account anonymously. This made an enormous difference to Noah’s future care.
He stayed at the vet for the next two weeks and, a few days before I returned from Antarctica, Noah came home.
Saving Noah’s leg
It took him a while to adjust to home life again. He wouldn’t eat unless someone was in the room with him and when the garbage truck drove past he had a panic attack, perhaps post-traumatic stress disorder. And he still wasn’t using his paw…
The vet explained that, without using it, the muscle tissue was atrophying and withering away, making it shrink and curl inwards. He would walk with it suspended up against his chest. Due to the nerve damage, he wasn’t able to feel much in his paw, either. The vets said this meant he could injure it further and that there was a big risk of a blood infection. They recommended that Noah’s leg be amputated.
A kind soul recommended Dawn Jones from Animal Physical Rehab, so we gave it a try. We got creative and did fundraising by making/selling succulents in pots. And it was so worth it.
We couldn’t believe the results after just one session – he already started walking on his leg! Eight sessions of physio, and laser and magnetic therapy later, Noah was walking, running, and playing just like he used to.
Good people on earth
Noah was adopted from TEARS in 2012 and, from the beginning, he had a big spirit – we’d gone to “just look” and saw this tiny scrawny ball of fluff hanging onto the mesh about two metres off the ground staring straight at us with an expression of “GET ME OUT OF THIS PLACE!” And so we did.
After surviving the unthinkable, today, Noah is a happy and healthy cat with a little more swagger in his stride, a bit more respect for the road and one less of his nine lives. In the end, his bills came to around R18,000, of which around R10,000 was raised through funds from kind-hearted people. Noah brought an entire community together and proved that there are still good people on this earth. We are forever indebted to you all.
I believe that it is through the grace of God/the powers that be, all the prayers, hope, light, love, wishes and kind thoughts and acts from everyone, plus Noah’s fighting spirit that he made it. I’ll be forever grateful to every single person who cared.
It is with special thanks to Leilah Kirsten (honorary godmother); Grant Little (honorary godfather); Dawn Jones from Animal Physical Rehab and all the vets and staff at Cape Animal Medical Clinic for saving Noah’s life.
Watch this little video made of Noah https://www.dropbox.com/s/z1dmkllagkuocys/Little%20Noah.mp4?dl=0