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Gizmo by Lauren – Surviving a 7 storey fall

Published on December 4, 2023.

Story from Gizmo by Lauren – Surviving a 7 storey fall

A split second filled with a thousand emotions. Your worst fear becoming a terrifying reality with no way to stop it. It all started with a terrible mistake.

We got our cat Gizmo when he yowled at us from a pet store window. Tiger-striped tabby, white paws & socks, cute pink nose & pads. He was 3 months old, extremely cute, very curious but also paradoxically very skittish. When we brought him home it became apparent that he also was a bit clumsy for a cat. Some of our early memories include him falling backwards off of a cat tree and landing on…drumroll…his back! He’s a very big long cat, so it was always so adorable to see him tumble around. He somehow didn’t have the common instinct to land on his feet, at least not yet. 

This year, we moved to a high rise apartment, sacrificing a small garden for a tiny balcony. We were sad for little big Giz because he loved venturing outside and lounging in the sun. Because of that, we started to let him explore the balcony, thinking that he would just sit and chill, and not stand on the ledge. Unfortunately, we were wrong.

It was early morning when my partner saw him, strolling along that ledge without a care in the world. Three seconds later, as he rushed to the balcony, Gizmo tried to climb through to a bedroom window next to the ledge. And fell backwards and off of the seventh floor. For once, his instinct to land on his feet kicked in and saved his life.

He rushed Gizmo, bleeding and in shock to our local vet who directed us to SASH in Alexandria. We were terrified for him and thinking the worst and the team did a great job calming us and stabilizing Gizmo. We learned that he had sustained multiple fractures to his hips and pelvis and two broken wrists. His front paws had taken the brunt of the fall impact and the ligaments had become torn and hyper extended. 

After a night in the ICU, Dr. Jack, one of the specialist surgeons at SASH, took us through our options. Luckily the superficial cuts and hip and pelvis injuries would heal but because of the nature of injuries to his wrists the best option was to do a surgery called Carpal Arthrodesis to fuse them into an upright position so he could walk as normal as possible. 

We decided to do the fusing surgery with SASH as they had been so excellent caring for Gizmo and giving us compassionate advice. Three days post surgery, Gizmo was able to come home. He has recovered now, after 12 weeks of being on a strict no playing and no climbing regimen, and being confined in a small tent with limited supervised time outside of it to roam around the apartment. It was amazing watching him get stronger every day. He’s back to being our lovable cheeky curious boy (even through the hissing and yowling from pain recovery). If you see him now, you won’t even notice anything’s changed, you won’t know that he has metal plates in both wrists. The only tell is how he can’t fully bend his arms a certain way but otherwise, he’s just back to normal.

It’s been a real struggle to get past the guilt and focus on making sure Gizmo gets well. But he deserves it, and we won’t let our mistakes define what can be a wonderful life.
We give our thanks to SASH for helping and guiding us through this terrible time, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. Dr. Jack told us in the beginning that the ideal outcome is that he would be back to normal with normal range of movements and activity — and he is back to normal indeed. You are simply amazing!

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