Even at the ripe old age of 19 Koki can’t resist teasing the neighbourhood dogs. But this time she almost lost her life.
Koki’s owner, Tracey Murray of Somerset West, recounts how Koki loves to follow her husband Clive and son Kyle when they play games in their suburban close.
A week ago Clive and Kyle were out playing cricket with Koki close by. A bull terrier watched from a neighbour’s garden behind a palisade fence. When the ball bounced into the garden, Clive went after it. Loki strayed too close to the fence.
Within seconds the dog had Koki in its powerful jaws. “Clive managed to distract the dog. When it let go of Koki he shouted at her to run, which she did,” says Tracey.
But Koki disappeared. An hour later the Murrays found her hiding in a drain. Clive dragged her out. There were no obvious injuries after her ordeal though their neighbour, veterinarian Dr Hilldidge Beer, could feel a hernia on the cat and advised the Murrays to have it checked out.
Koki was dropped off at Country Animal Clinic the following day for what they thought was going to be a routine hernia removal. Country veterinarian Dr Ebeneze Ginsberg prepped Koki for surgery but found, after investigating the abdominal hernia, that there was, in fact, extensive damage to the diaphragm and chest wall. “Bite wounds can be like icebergs – the worst damage hidden from sight. The damage is often much worse than what it appears at first glance,” says Country head clinician Dr Ingrid de Wet.
Veterinarian Dr Morné de Wet, who has a specialist interest in orthopaedics, was summoned from Cottage Vet in Gordon’s Bay, to reconstruct Koki’s ribs and chest wall.
“This was an amazing team effort with clinic staff having to help Koki breathe while the open chest surgery was performed. Despite her advanced age she appears to have recovered well so far,” says Dr Ingrid.
“We are forever indebted to these wonderful people for fixing her,” says Tracey, who had high praise for the caring and considerate way in which her cat, and her family, were handled by Country staff.
“Koki is our baby. She was a ‘free to a good home’ kitten though we think she has Norwegian forest cat in her.”
Tracey says Koki is now home and the family is syringe feeding her. She is on pain medication and anti-inflammatories.