47518My two kitties are like my third and fourth children. I keep tabs on their whereabouts all day, and when I haven’t seen one or the other in more than a few hours, I begin to worry.

Such was the case on Thursday. I had let both Olive and Dodger out at 5:30 that morning, as is the case on most every day of the week. They will roam back in and out, usually hourly, all morning. While Dodger will come in and nap for a few hours during the day, Olive tends to stay out longer, especially when the weather is as nice as it has been around here.

That’s why I wasn’t too worried when I didn’t see her most of the day. When I came home from picking up my youngest from school, she didn’t come running up to be let in, which I found sort of odd. She had to be hungry by now, but thought maybe she had caught a bird or a vole. But when we pulled in the driveway at 10pm that night and she still was nowhere to be found, I began to worry.

We called and called for her over the course of the next hour, but I finally went to bed knowing my husband would be home a little later and maybe she would come in then. When he arrived, I asked him if Olive had come in, to which he replied “no.” I told him how I had not seen her since early that morning, and even he began to worry. He tried calling her as well, but eventually went up to bed.

I, however, could not fall back to sleep. I got up periodically and called for her, but she never came home. I finally fell back to sleep at around 3 am, but my dreams were haunting. I’d dream she was found safe and sound and a wave of relief would wash over me. But then I would wake up and realize she was still missing.

When the alarm went off I hurried to the back door and called for her, but no kitty came running. I sat at the computer listening for her trademark scratch on the front door, but again, no kitty. When it got light enough to see my daughter and I walked the street both in front and behind our house, looking to see if she had been hit, and were relieved to find no balls of fur on the side of the road.

As we were returning to our porch my daughter screamed “Mommy, Olive!!” and sure enough, there she was walking up the driveway. But something was wrong. I could tell one of her ears was disfigured and after she finally let me pick her up I could see her mouth was very bloody.

With a sinking heart I took her into the kitchen and quickly examined her. Ick. It was hard to look at. Something was seriously wrong with her mouth, but It grossed me out to look too closely at it. A glance at the clock told me we had an hour to wait before our vet opened, and other than her mouth wounds she seemed normal.

I gave her a little wet food, which she ate, and then she just sort of sat there. Our other cat Dodger came in and at the sight of a plate of wet cat food, headed straight for it. He took one bite, pulled back, circled it and then tried to bury it by pawing at the linoleum. It was odd. When he approached Olive he looked at her warily and made a very wide circle around her. Again, odd because he usually licks her until she swats at him.

My youngest was hysterical. She was sure that once we got to the vet they were going to put her to sleep. I told her that I didn’t think it was going to be that bad – other than her face, Olive seemed normal. And I was right. Once the vet examined her, her first words were “it’s not as bad as it looks.”

Thank you, God!

Olive had a fractured lower jaw, and the skin had been pulled away from her jaw, which was the bloody ick-ness that I had seen. It would have to be stitched back onto her jaw. The vet surmised that she had been grazed by a car, and probably skidded along the pavement which caused the injuries to her ear and jaw. Her lower jaw is wired together for the next 6 weeks and her ear? It’ll just heal on it’s own.

We are super lucky. For her to have collided with a car and have no injuries to her body is amazing.

We took her home later that afternoon, and she has been convalescing, laying in her favorite spot in the hall next to my daughter’s room. She looks a little goofy, but otherwise seems like the same old Olive, with one exception.

She is friendlier. Before, Olive could be quite aloof – a loner that needed little human interaction. But since she’s come home she’s been very loving…lots of rubbing and purring and welcoming scratches and pets. I think she realizes what a close call she had, and is grateful for our little house – her home and her family.

And we’re grateful she’s here too.