A Street Cat Gets Help – Meet Sugar 03/31/2023 By Kerry S At Pet Haven, we often do work we don’t publicize. When help is needed we get our boots on and help. We are dedicated to helping our community, the people, and the pets. We work hard to be available when crisis comes. Our dedicated staff and volunteers have a “let’s find a solution” attitude and this view helps us change lives! We were asked by RestPro, the company we share our facility building with, to help. There was an apartment fire and several cats had become displaced. They were living in a garage on the property that had a hole in the back wall and this allowed the cats to enter and have a dry safe place to go. The challenge was this was not a safe nor sustainable option for them. We went to the property to observe and set up cameras to see how many cats and what their patterns were. One of the cats caught on camera was Sugar. A buff orange and white male with a bad limp that looked to be in bad shape. We started working on trapping him and getting him some help. We did not know what his temperament was or if he belonged to one of the residents of the apartment building or if he was a stray. We just knew we had to help! We set traps and within 30 minutes he was caught! We named him Sugar. We hoped by naming him a sweet name he would become just that, sweet. This is where the journey to recovery begins. Often times cats living outside come in and act like feral under- socialized cats. After 48-72 hour decompression in a small warm space with food, water, and a box with a fleece blanket to hide in, they start to feel safe and relaxed. Once that shedding of the stress of street life falls away, we begin to see the companion cat inside. Suger turned out to be just what we hoped he would be, a total sweetheart. He was fearful at first but as he gained the trust of his fosters and grew confident he began to SHINE. We gave him the time he needed. Now that he was trusting his caregivers accepting pets and eating well it was time to get him a full evaluation from a veterinary medical professional. We took him to one of our vet partners VCA FEIST to be examined. Their care and kindness to Sugar were wonderful. There we found out he had ear mites and a terrible ear infection. He had a large parasite burden and an eye infection. He was also in chronic pain due to a shattered hip and leg. The x-ray showed the damage was so severe we were not sure any repair would be successful. The doctors estimated Sugar had been living with this leg for a very long time. Amputation was going to be the only option and even then we were unsure if that would fully fix the damaged leg and hip area. The surgeon would need to evaluate at the time of surgery. If Sugar’s injury could not be fixed and relieve pain for him we would have to make some difficult decisions. Having a pet live in chronic pain is not human or a reasonable option. We all hoped for the best outcome and we got it! Amputation was successful and Dr Melling at WellHaven Maple Grove did a fantastic job at a clean amputation of Sugar’s back leg releasing him from pain. Now the true healing from trauma and pain begins and a new life emerges for Sugar. Sugar’s foster family did an amazing job at providing care and enrichment for him. He had to be crated for several weeks and wear a cone to keep the incision from being picked at by Sugar. He did not like this at all but what a trooper! He managed to find his way around the cone and get one he tolerated better. With the help of his foster family, he learned to trust, love, and be part of a loving family! We are excited to say Sugar is now fully healed. He moves quicker than when he had his leg and is pain-free. He even gets the zoomies! Sugars body and heart are healed. He now knows love and he loves in return. Sugar has an enriched life with his human and cat family. We are so happy we could say yes to helping Sugar and the 11 other cats living in the garage from the apartment fire. All are safe. All were once companion pets and are now back in loving homes. We are so happy we could say yes to helping Sugar and the 11 other cats living in the garage from the apartment fire. All are safe. All were once companion pets and are now back in loving homes. This kind of work takes time and resources but it is the work of real rescue. Seeing Sugar and the other 11 cats thrive in their adoptive homes is priceless! If you would like to help support our efforts to provide high-quality medical care and foster homes for stray and other cats in crisis, please consider giving to our program through the donation of funding or fostering. Or both! Thank you to all those involved in helping Sugar and the others find family!