SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - Sweet Man, a tabby cat, may not have nine lives, but he certainly had some extra luck recently.
Veterinarians believe Sweet Man, a stray, was hit by a large vehicle. Unable to walk because of a broken right femur, or thigh bone, and a dislocated left hip, he was fortunate enough to drag himself into the yard of Amanda Wilkin in Inman.
"He was crawling in my yard," Wilkin said. "He was hollering, dragging his back legs. I've never heard a cat cry like that. The poor cat really went through it."
Despite being in severe pain from his injuries, Sweet Man purred and licked his human saviors as they took him to a local emergency veterinarian clinic to see whether his life could be saved. He even "made cookies," that kneading motion cats usually do when they're content, Wilkin said.
Because he had no internal bleeding, and because a good personality goes a long way, vets decided to try to operate on Sweet Man.
Sweet Man has touched the hearts of the employees at Spartanburg Nephrology Associates, where Wilkin works with Dr. Lawrence McGee. They hope to find his owner, and if they can't, he deserves to go to a loving home because of his sweet temperament, they say.
"The cat has been extraordinary," McGee said.
McGee says he already has several animals and would rather Sweet Man go to a different home.
Sweet Man is now recuperating from surgery - he's had two - to repair his leg with plates and screws and fix his hip at Upstate Veterinary Specialists in Greenville. He also was neutered.
The surgeon, Dr. Keith Allen, has seen many animals come and go through his practice, but Sweet Man has even touched his heart as well. He said he would take the stray home if he didn't already have several pets.
Sweet Man came in with his broken bones, purring and still wanting his head rubbed, Allen said. "He's extremely sweet," he said. "He's a wonderful cat."
The surgeon expects the cat to recover, but if someone is interested in adopting him, he will need some extra TLC for the first several weeks, as the cat will be stiff and sore. Sweet Man will remain at the veterinary hospital through the weekend.
"He's eating well. I think his prognosis is good," Allen said.
Allen could not say enough about Sweet Man's personality. "He's just chilling out," Allen said. "He's just a laid-back guy."
Even if you can't take Sweet Man home, you can help with his vet bills, which now total $3,500.
Donations may be mailed to Upstate Veterinary Specialists, stray "Sweet Man" fund, 393 Woods Lake Road, Greenville, SC 29607.
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