Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Rescued Colorado cat Capone a sweetie

By Carol McGraw Updated: March 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm

You'd think his name might be Curly. Just look at those dainty winglike ears flying above his sweet face.

But no, his name is Capone. As in the gangster Al Capone.

You see Capone - the cat, that is - is a tough guy. The rescued kitty was found shivering and suffering from a nasty broken leg last weekend.

It's called a butterfly fracture of the femur, which means it's broken in three equal segments, says Kevin Conrad, chief medical officer for Teller County Regional Animal Shelter, who is also a veterinarian.

"The leg will need bone plates and screws.

Capone is going to see an orthopedic specialist Monday in Colorado Springs. The shelter and others are trying to raise money for his medical needs.

It all began in a snowstorm.

Lynda Martinez of Cascade had let her three dogs outside. The Posse, as she calls them, all did a double take.

They were staring at a furry ball huddled against the side of the house.

The cat did not move.

"It was like he had given up and was saying, go ahead. I don't have the strength to run. He didn't even hiss at them," Martinez said.

She took him inside and warmed him up. "He didn't want me to stop petting him. He'd take his paw and grab my hand back."

The dogs Maggie May and Buddy Randal sniffed the cat and moved on. But Roxie Ann, who was a rescue herself, seemed to want to comfort her.

Martinez made a bed in a closed room for the cat. "I realized he was hurt, but thought it might be a sprain because he didn't act like he was in a lot of pain. He was clean, but really skinny and starved."

"I didn't have any cat food. So it was lunch meat and grilled chicken. He wolfed it down."

The shelter was closed until Monday. If truth be known, Martinez could probably find the way there blindfolded. She has rescued many a dog. In fact, she keeps a leash in her car, just in case. She has lost count of how many she has found lost in the rural area.

Before they left the house to drive to Divide, she fixed Capone some scrambled eggs and warm milk. "He has a huge appetite and just purred."

Mary Steinbeiser, who runs the Divide no kill-shelter, had Conrad examine the cat. X-rays showed a fracture, apparently caused by blunt force trauma. Capone may have been run over. A horse or deer could have kicked him, or even a human.

About those curly ears. Steinbeiser found out that Capone is probably an American curl. The breed originated from a couple of strays with the genetic mutations who were taken in by a Lakewood, Calif., couple in 1981. The Cat Fancier's Association has since admitted the American curl to its registry and cat shows.

Capone's recovery will take weeks. After that he could be adopted. Or the owner might come forward. They would have to pay the vet bill, if that happens, Steinbeiser says.

They wouldn't hand him over to just anybody who said he was theirs. "We will need proof, his papers, pictures, that sort of thing."

They are collecting donations for the cat's surgery. Checks can be sent to Teller County Regional Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 904, Divide, Co., 80814, or at the shelter's website, tcrascolorado.com. For information, call the shelter at 686-7707.

Martinez put a notice on the local Cascade Next Door Website, and is placing posters around town. No one has called the shelter looking for the cat.

Martinez says, "I would take him in a heartbeat. He is such a sweetheart." But alas, she can't have cats. She owns the Blue Spruce Caboose Inn, and guests are sometimes allergic to them.

Capone is resting comfortably at a vet hospital, getting pain medicine until he can be examined by the specialist Monday.

They say the only crying he is doing is for attention. After all, he's Capone.

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Contact Carol McGraw: 636-0371. Twitter @mcgrawatgazette

Facebook: Carol McGraw

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