Watch Arthur the three-legged Suffolk cat in action as he is shortlisted for a national pet award
PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 November 2016
The incredible survival spirit of a ginger Tom cat who managed to drag himself home after spending days with his leg crushed in an illegal animal trap has been recognised in a national award scheme.
Two-year-old Arthur, from Bures, has been shortlisted as one of five animal finalists in the PDSA charity’s Pet Survivor 2016 awards.
The accolade is an acknowledgment of the way Arthur survived and bounced back from a horrific incident last year, which led to him having his leg amputated.
Arthur’s owner Gemma Harris was concerned when he went missing for three days, which she said was “extremely unusual”. But the worry turned to dismay when he eventually returned distressed and in pain, with the rusty metal trap clamped to his back leg.
Mrs Harris, 31, said: “It’s so unlike Arthur to stay away from home like that, so I was relieved when I heard him meowing early one morning.
“But my relief quickly turned to horror when I found him half way up the stairs dragging a rusty metal trap behind him.
“It was totally horrific; the trap was so heavy we couldn’t believe that he had somehow managed to make his way home and get through the cat flap.
“We think the trap was tied to a fence and he must have chewed his way through the rope to break himself free. He was in a terrible state – his claws were gone and his teeth were damaged.”
Mrs Harris and her husband Ollie immediately rushed Arthur to Ardmore Vets in Sudbury. However, the damage caused by the trap was too extensive for the leg to be treated.
Veterinary surgeon Kitty Craig recalled: “Arthur’s leg was in such a bad state that it couldn’t be saved – the only option was to amputate.
“However, he was already very weak and there was no guarantee he would survive the operation or recover.
“But he’d shown incredible determination to get home to safety, so we knew we had to give him a chance.”
Thankfully the surgery was a success and Arthur astounded everyone with the speed of his recovery.
Mrs Harris added: “Arthur has adapted really well – losing a leg hasn’t slowed him down at all. He does get tired and comes in for long sleeps, but most of the time he acts like nothing has happened.
“He’s jumping up on fences and doing everything he did before. But he has certainly used up a few of his nine lives.”
Arthur’s story comes as another cat, Pepe, was found with his leg caught in a rusty – and illegal – gin trap in London Road, Kelvedon, earlier this month.
Fortunately vets were able to free the feline and reunite him with his owner.
The PDSA Pet Survivor competition recognises pets’ survival instinct, the love and devotion of their owners and the skill and dedication of the veterinary teams who helped save their lives. Entries were received from all over the UK and a celebrity judging panel helped to select the finalists.
The winner will be decided by a public vote via the charity’s website – www.pdsa.org.uk/petsurvivor. Voting closes at midnight on Sunday, December 4.