April 9, 2016, started out like any typical Saturday; I slept in, made a cup of coffee, and worked on some of my websites. The weather was perfect, so I opened a window in my livingroom where I had previous removed the screen. My cat Ellie likes to sit by this window and occasionally ventures out onto the roof of the one-storey part of the building outside. It’s almost like a terrace except we’re not meant to walk around out there.
After working for an hour or so, I realized I hadn’t seen Ellie in some time. I walked through my loft calling to Ellie, then climbed onto the adjacent roof and looked around the corner, still calling her name. No reply. Now worried, I went downstairs and walked around the building to see if she was on a ledge accessible from that roof. I didn’t see her so I expanded my search around the block. I went up to the fourth floor rooftop patio to get another view. Finally, I climbed onto the adjacent roof and looked over the edge between the buildings and spotted her on the ground. Relieved, I went downstairs to coax her out.
Ellie would not come to me so after a few minutes I slowly walked down the alley, not wanting to scare her into running the other direction. She let me pick her up and I quickly carried her upstairs. Upon closer inspection, I could see her mouth was bloodied. She seemed OK until she tried to eat some soft food I set out and gave up, obviously in pain. It was clear she needed to see a veterinarian.
I purchased a pet carrier and took her to a local animal hospital. The initial diagnosis was that she had a broken jaw and had lost a tooth. This was based upon an initial inspection of her misaligned jaw/chin and bent tooth. The vet planned to take X-rays and wire Ellie’s broken jaw in place. I left her there. After several hours I called and was told that they wanted to keep her overnight and I assumed the surgery had already been done. Later that night the vet called to tell me that after sedation and getting a closer look, Ellie did not break her jaw that day, but that it had been broken sometime in the past and had healed improperly, thus the current misalignment! She had one tooth broken off at the base and another tooth had bent and was poking the roof of her mouth. This was a relief. She did not need surgery, only a tooth extraction, which the vet did.
In the morning I picked her up. The vet showed me her misaligned jaw and her missing teeth, one of which she handed to me in a small plastic vial. She showed me how to administer liquid pain medicine, if needed.
We returned home and soon Ellie was her usual self. She inspected the loft, then spent a lot of time in and around her new pet carrier. She loves the thing. Not long after coming home, she was eating hard food again, a good sign. Her condition was so much better than had been initially feared. Such a relief.
It was a crazy 21 hours with Ellie initially gone missing, then found but injured. Then her injury misdiagnosed as a broken jaw requiring surgery only to be later revised to just a broken and a bent tooth and cuts. My loft felt strangely empty that night, the first in three years that Ellie wasn’t there within view.
This wasn’t the introductory story I had planned for Ellie. I’ll write about her rescue and adoption in another post. But now I am even more curious what her first year was like (before I got her) with her strange eye condition and now a fractured jaw. She’s a tough but sweet girl.