Beloved cat recovering after falling four stories


A house cat from Cape Town has undoubtedly used up one of its nine lives after falling four storeys from its owners’ apartment. The cat, Michael, lives with his human parents, Amber and Calvin Jempson, and their dachshund, Bailey, in Sunnyside.

In early January, Michael broke two of his legs when he accidentally fell from the balcony on the Jempsons’ flat.

Amber says the family was on their balcony on January 2, enjoying the morning sun, when something on the small list on the balcony caught Michael’s attention. “Initially we had mesh up against the bars of the balcony, but the owners of the apartment building said we had to remove it for aesthetic reasons,” says Amber.

Amber tried to call Michael back from the ledge, but his hips got stuck between the bars as he tried to climb back onto the balcony. “He panicked, moved backwards and fell off the balcony.”

According to Amber, Michael was awake and clearly in severe pain. “Luckily there was no blood, but the cry of pain he gave will always stay with me. I could see his front leg was broken, but I didn’t know the back one was also off.”

The family rushed Michael to the vet and he ended up having to undergo a seven-hour operation at the Sunset Veterinary Clinic, during which screws and wires were inserted into his legs to repair his broken bones.

His family, and especially the dog, Bailey, were ecstatic about Michael’s return home. Amber says Bailey took Michael’s absence very badly. “She refused to eat and was very depressed until Michael returned.” The two, who are used to doing everything together, are now still separated, because Michael has to stay in a crate for eight weeks until he has fully recovered.

Although the couple has medical insurance for their animals, the costs associated with Michael’s treatment were astronomical. This included R2 500 for an emergency visit to the vet, more than R40 000 for the operation and R8 000 for care after the operation.

Because it is much more than the couple can afford, Amber launched a crowdfunding initiative on the platform Back-a-buddy. The generosity of the Cape community touched the couple deeply, with ten generous donors donating a total of more than R17 600.

“We thought we were going to lose our beautiful son and were overwhelmed with emotion. It was so heartwarming to see how wild strangers donate money to Michael and send good wishes.”

Michael has to spend another six weeks in the crate. His bandages and stitches have already been removed and although he can walk, he is still a little unsteady on his legs. However, he will have to have another operation in about seven months’ time to remove the screws and wires in his legs, as he is still growing.

In the meantime, the couple is looking for a new place to live, which will provide a safe home for their beloved pets.