Dr. Erika Flores
I was at Coco’s Animal Welfare, our local partner´s clinic in Playa del Carmen providing scheduled consults to dogs and cats as part of our relief work to help the community in these challenging times, when someone approached the door holding a cat. My first instinct was to ask if she had an appointment… but then I realized that the adult cat in her arms was panting heavily and bleeding. I rushed to their side to find out what happened. The woman named Natalia explained how she found the cat dragging herself to the side of the road after being hit by a car. She picked up the cat and rushed her to Coco’s Animal Welfare with hope of getting the cat the care she needed.
When she told me where she found the cat, it turns out it had been right at the entrance of my neighborhood. The cat was in great condition - a little bit plump, so I knew she was someone´s family and they would probably be looking for her. I took the cat inside to administer pain medicine and give her a proper physical exam. Her X-ray showed that she didn´t have a ruptured diaphragm, which is very common for cats who have been hit by cars. Her diaphragm was intact, but her lungs were filled with blood. The next 72 hrs would be crucial for her survival.
In hopes of locating her family, I posted the cat on social media. Thanks to the many community members who shared her information, the cat’s family was found that same night. They came to my house with proper precautions and identified the cat as Maggy. She had gone missing the night before and the family was searching desperately to find her. Seeing her injured made them heartbroken, but they were so happy to have found her. The family shared with me that they had just moved from a town 20 minutes away because they could no longer pay rent due to the pandemic. Cats have a very strong instinct for territory, so it’s very likely that Maggy was returning to her old home when she got hit by a car.
Marcos had rescued Maggy from the streets when she was a kitten and sneaked her into his bedroom. When his father discovered her, he let her stay for a while but eventually giving her to Marco’s older sister, Cynthia, for a permanent home. Cynthia has two children, Valeria and Sebastian, who loved caring for Maggy. With the passing of Marco’s father earlier this year, the whole family – including Maggy – moved together from Zamora Michoacan to a new home in Puerto Aventuras.
Losing a father/husband/grandfather and facing financial troubles from COVID-19 has made for an incredibly difficult year for Maggy’s family. Losing Maggy on top of that would have been devastating. Luckily, Maggy recovered after two weeks of specialized care and is now reunited with her loving family. Thanks to our donors, we were also able to help cover Maggy’s medical bills, a great relief for her family.
I am very fortunate to have been able to help Maggy receive the emergency care she needed. Her story is the perfect example of why I dedicate my career to helping animals in need and reuniting animals with their families who love them so dearly. Thank you for all the support you give that allows us to make these reunions possible. Stay safe!
-Erika Flores, IFAW Veterinarian & Project Manager, Programs
Playa Del Carmen Community Animals Project - MexicoLeadership saves animal lives in the streets of Playa del Carmen
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