Dennis McDonald was driving his five-ton semitrailer truck through a thunderstorm when he rolled past what looked like a dead cat on the side of the road. He looked in his side rear-view mirror and thought he saw it move. “I said, ‘That cat’s still alive!’ It hit me like lightning.”
McDonald, who has two cats of his own, turned his truck around and pulled over to take a look, according to an article in BurnabyNow.com, a news outlet in the town of Burnaby in British Columbia, Canada. “I got down on my knees, and he kind of backed into my haunches, and he was a mess,” McDonald said. Half of the cat’s face was collapsed and his tongue was sticking out. “He couldn’t even hold himself up. It was one of the worst things I’ve seen.”
He put the small black cat in a box and took him to the Burnaby SPCA, where he urged the staff to skip the usual intake and get the injured cat to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible. “I said, ‘Ladies, we can worry about paperwork later. This animal has a chance. Let’s go!’”
The cat named Kevin was in bad shape. He had a fractured upper and lower jaw, a ruptured ear drum and multiple facial fractures. His nose had collapsed, and his palate was broken. Kevin underwent emergency surgery and survived. The article in Bunabynow explains that the shelter found the cat’s owner, who had given it to a neighbor who abandoned it. The original owner could not pay the medical bills and surrendered the cat to the SPCA.
McDonald realized the cat was all alone in the world. “That just broke me in about a million pieces,” he said. “I can’t do a lot on this planet…but no being deserves to die anonymously in the corner. I said: ‘You know what? He’s mine.’” Veterinarian Claudia Richter says that Kevin will stay at the clinic for another six to eight weeks, but should fully recover. “He might have some mild asymmetry in his face and he might have decreased hearing because his left eardrum ruptured, but I think his life will be pretty good,” says Richter, who spoke with the Burnaby SPCA.
At 6’3″ and 200 pounds, McDonald isn’t the stereotypical cat lover, but that’s what he is. He lives alone with his two other adopted felines. “I look like a big scary guy, but it’s just me and my kitties,” he said. “My life is just coming home and letting them out to run in our closed yard.”