A high-flying cat is banged up after jumping off the Allen Street Bridge last week but should make a full recovery — thanks to several local veterinarians who have donated their services.
A distraught woman called the Humane Society of Cowlitz County on June 3 to report she was driving across the Allen Street Bridge and saw a cat crawl out of the engine compartment of the truck ahead of her. The cat dashed through traffic, disappeared beneath a car, re-emerged and leapt off the bridge, HSCC Officer Rich Falk said Thursday.
"They were horrified," Falk said of the woman, who was with her two young daughters.
The woman drove around and under the bridge, found the cat beneath a car in the Kelso City Hall parking lot and called the Humane Society. Falk retrieved the animal, which he said was "just a loving cat, and it was having a horrible day."
"She was somebody's pet," he continued. "She's a very, very good cat ... Doesn't have a mean bone in her body."
The cat had fallen roughly 70 feet, said Rick Johnson, executive director of the Humane Society of Cowlitz County.
"I'm surprised she survived the fall," Johnson said. "She landed probably the best way she could, considering."
A vet gave the cat pain medication and sent her home for the night with a foster family. That night, the cat miscarried a litter of kittens, Johnson said.
The next day at Lower Columbia Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Tammy White diagnosed and treated the cat for a broken palate (the top of the mouth), injured when cat's head slammed into the pavement.
Dr. Jani Remsburg at Lower Columbia took an X-ray of the cat's leg and determined it was broken. Dr. Russell Moore at Ocean Beach Animal Hospital set the leg and cast. Dr. Stacey Martzall spayed the cat at the Humane Society facility.
All the veterinarians donated their work, Johnson said.
"It's just one of those interesting stories where everyone agreed to help out," he said.
Despite the kitty's ordeal, "she's in remarkably good humor," Johnson said.
The tabby cat is about three years old and will stay with a foster family until she's healed and ready for adoption.
And what is the cat called?
Johnson he hadn't thought of that until asked but decided she needed a "flying name" to honor her adventure. Famed American aviatrix Amelia Earhart popped to mind, and the matter was settled.
"Amelia," he said. "We're calling her Amelia."