We awoke that morning in Rob and Jen’s garden, ever hopeful that our post would arrive. If it wasn’t today, then we were in for another few days wait as it was a Friday. We sat in the camper enjoying our tea and contemplating where we would go next. Aimee explored her new surroundings like normal.
Everything happened so quickly, I barely registered the snarling of the dogs next door until I saw Lee halfway over the fence that divided the two properties, and heard the cry of a cat. By the time I was on my feet, I saw Aimee dart through a hole in the fence and Lee climbed back over. It turns out that the three unfriendly and bored dogs next door had cornered her in one of the only places in the yard she couldn’t escape from. Backed into a corner they had started to attack her. While she didn’t appear hurt as she darted past me, we wanted to check her over.
I had seen her run under the camper, and she had lodged herself on top of the gearbox, only her tail visible hanging down. As we tried to touch her she growled at us and retreated further away. Trying to get a hand in to check her, we couldn’t see any blood or feel anything wrong, but one look at her face and we knew she was hurt. You don’t spend that amount of time with an animal without being able to tell when it’s in pain, even if it’s silent. We knew we had to get her out, but that was easier said than done. We both lay on the floor under the van and tried to wiggle our hands around the cooling pipes to get her out one way or another, there’s a lot going on under Ruby and we douldn’t reach her enough to get a hold.
Eventually, we managed to pull her out and it was instantly clear that her leg was broken. A big cut ran across just above her paw and her foot hung limp at the end. Rob hopped in his truck and drove around the corner to check if the vet was open, returning to give us a lift when it was.
As we hopped out the truck, someone awaiting across the street shouted across, “There’s a queue you know!”
Explaining the situation to the two people waiting in front of us, they let us go first. The vet was still with a patient, but in around 15 minutes or so we were in. she confirmed it was broken, and tried to give her something for the pain. In the meantime, Aimee growled and pooped herself in my hand. “She has worms too” the vet pointed out, looking at my hand. After cleaning her up a bit, she gave us the name of two vets in La Paz who would be able to help us, as she needed an X-ray, something they didn’t have in Todos Santos.
We walked back to our friends house, and hosed the poo off her outside. Lee started to call around the numbers we had been given, while I held onto Aimee. The first didn’t pick up, but we got through to the second and they said they would wait for us to arrive. Rob very kindly cancelled his business appointment that afternoon to drive us, as with the blockades in place moving around in our camper could be a problem.
Within an hour and a half we were at the vet. They took her into the consulting room straight away and began to check her over, saying something about a puncture to her ribs in Spanish. They said it would take three hours for them to check and see what she needed, and that they would phone us with the results. After leaving them Rob’s phone number, we turned around and headed back to Todos Santos.
The rest of the day is somewhat of a blur. It was around midday by the time we left La Paz, and we weren’t sure whether we would be going back to collect her that day or what she would need in the way of care now. On thing was certain, we weren’t about to leave Todos Santos, a broken leg would take at least 6 weeks to heal and we didn’t think she would manage climbing around the camper with one paw out of action. While we deliberated what to do, Rob told us that they would clear out a room for us in the house and that we could stay with them. Grateful to have a solution, we accepted and spent the rest of the time trying to come up with some kind of plan or worrying about Aimee. We knew she was in the best place, but still couldn’t heplp worrying as we had left her crying out in pain trying to crawl around the vets table.
Three hours passed and still no word. It was now approaching 4pm, and so Lee phoned them up and asked what was happening. They said we could come and collect her. Rob once again came to our rescue and drove us the hour long trip back to La Paz.
At the vets, Aimee was brought out to us with her arm in a huge bandage, and quite clearly off her face on drugs. They told us that she could stay at the hospital for a few days or we could take her home and bring her back. Not wanting the additional expense or upset for her, we decided to take her with us.
The nurse tried to explain that she had needed surgery and an implant. She gave me some anti inflammatories and then handed me a phone, which had the vet on the other end of the line. He explained that he needed to X-ray her leg again in two days, this was fine but it was a Sunday, so we agreed Monday at 10am. Still a little unsure about what would happen next, we payed our 3000mxp bill and drove back to Todos Santos. At least down here vet bills are a fraction of the price that they would be back or home or in The States.
Tonight was supposed to be a game night, but we were rather emotionally drain at this point and it was getting pretty late. After a straightforward meal, we pretty much headed to bed. Aimee was coming around of the drugs she had been given and was not a happy kitty. She growled and attacked her new bandage, while simultaneously falling off the bed. Not wanting her to do any further damage, we were up most of the night calming her down and trying to prevent her from ripping her bandages off. She does not do well when she comes around from anaesthetics. At certain points I wished that we had left her at the vets, but if she was unhappy now I can only imagine how much worse it would have been locked in a small cage in a strange place. As much as I like my sleep, I can sacrifice a night of it for her. Maybe it’s the same for most pets as they wake up, but in England this isn’t something we are privy to experiencing, pets there remaining at the vet for far longer until they’re fully awake.
The morning we were both a little worse for wear having to had much sleep. Aimee on the other hand now slept peacefully on the bed. Over the next couple of days, while we got used to sleeping in a double bed and having access to a hot shower again, she began to learn how to walk on three legs. She hobbled along, he bandaged leg stuck out behind her at a weird angle. She learnt how to jump on the bed, and was soon curious about exploring the rest of the house. This was obviously a conflicting issue for her, as there was also a dog in the house. It didn’t matter that Elliot was as terrified as she was, her traumatic experience was enough to keep her in the room even with the door open.