Leigh's Lost and Found: How Rescue One used fish skin to save a stray cat's life

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 11:31 AM CDT
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In today's Leigh's Lost and Found, a first for the rescue group, Rescue One.

Cats and fish are usually not a good combo., especially for the fish. But a cod actually helped save a stray cat's life.

A warning.: some of the pictures and video in this story are pretty graphic.

Porter the cat is now sitting pretty in the lap of Rescue One's veterinarian, Doctor Kelsey Keisker, or Dr. K.

It's a long way from how they found him, when they took the stray in back in April.

"On the worst leg, he had a piece of bone almost splintered off of it as well so it looks like there was some major trauma, like got caught in a fence or an engine even."

Dr. K tried the typical treatments.

"Clean up all the nasty tissue, bandage it several times a day."

But the severe wounds continued to fester.

"He just wasn't responding, the tissue just looked stagnant. He was such a sweet cat, we didn't want to give up just yet."

So Dr. K turned to a relatively new, unknown and pricey treatment involving fish skin grafts. They took some video of her as she surgically attached them to Porter.

"It's just fish skin that this company found a way to dehydrate and preserve it and when we get it, we re-hydrate it and attach it to their skin. And the cod skin gives it's good nutrients and good moisture and it almost builds a bridge for the wound to attach to and start healing."

She says Porter's healing process has superseded all expectations. .

"To see that big of a change in two weeks is amazing."

Porter has his own special room, where he's now walking around and recuperating. And soon, Rescue One hopes to find him a forever home that will appreciate the long journey he's been through.

"He's such a good cat, he deserves it."

Unfortunately, Porter tested positive for the FIV virus, so he will need to be the only cat or go to a home with other FIV cats. If you're interested in adopting Porter, click on the Rescue One link to get to their website.