It was an eventful day when Sarah Richardson of Community Cats of Central Arkansas received a call from another rescue group pleading for help. “I got a call from Whiskers 316 saying they found a cat with an eye injury,” Sarah said. Although the rescuers wanted to help the sweet boy, they were unable to provide the veterinary care he needed.
Their vet recommended giving him ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ, but the Whiskers 316 women hoped that a second opinion might save his life.
The rescue team reached out to Sarah in the hope that she could take him away and prevent him from ᴅʏɪɴɢ. Although she knew little about the cat, Sarah immediately said, “Oh sure, I’ll take it.” The cat, later named Chester, was delivered straight to Sarah the next day.
Sarah was finally able to take a closer look at Chester. What she witnessed shocked her. “Obviously Chester had trauma to one eye and it was broken,” Sarah said. Chester climbed into Sarah’s lap and rested his head in her arms knowing that she was someone he could trust. Witnessing Chester’s suffering broke Sarah’s heart. She was determined to do everything in her power to ease his pain.
She immediately sent pictures of Chester’s eye to her vet, who confirmed it needed to be removed as soon as possible. Just as Sarah felt a glimmer of hope, she was faced with another difficult decision, to take a risk. Chester has been diagnosed with feline leukemia, a lifelong virus that weakens his immune system.
Worse still, he was anemic, meaning his blood count was low. This would make the sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ a huge risk for poor Chester. There’s a chance he’ll never wake up.
Sarah must make a quick decision: should she risk Chester’s life to perform the sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ he desperately needs? Sarah knew the sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ was his only chance of survival. If he doesn’t have sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ, he needs to be ᴇᴜᴛʜᴀɴɪᴢᴇᴅ. Either way, his life is on the way.
Two days later, Chester was taken to the vet for eye sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ and castration. Veterinarians describe Chester’s procedure as one of the most painful experiences a cat can go through. But the sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ was successful! Chester is all patched and ready to go home and recover.
Despite the immense pain, Chester persisted. It is clear that he has a strong will to live. He is a real warrior.
“He is the best sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ patient we have ever had. He was a phenomenon every step of the way,” recalls Sarah.
After the sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ was over, Chester struggled to wake up.
Sarah waited anxiously with interlaced fingers hoping her little champion would make it through.
Six hours later, Chester was fully awake. Sarah was extremely relieved.
Not long after the sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ, Chester began to show promising signs of improvement. After 3 days, he can raise his head and start acting more like himself. But this is just the beginning. Chester still needs to adjust to life with only one eye.
Sarah Richardson is one of the few lifeguards in Arkansas volunteering to rescue elderly and adult cats with serious illnesses.
Thanks to Sarah and her family, cats like Chester have a second chance at life. If you want to help by donating food or items directly to Sara