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"Minoushka" on the Mend

December 9, 2013

If it is true that cats have nine lives then “Minoushka” used at least one of hers by undergoing major surgery to repair a hernia so serious that only a thin layer of outer skin held her internal organs inside her, the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center announced today.


The spirited black and white kitten’s ordeal began in late October when her concerned owner, Anna Morgan  of Cambridge, rushed her to Angell’s Emergency & Critical Care Unit after noticing a large bulge in Minoushka’s stomach shortly after feeding her.  “I knew immediately that something was wrong,” said Morgan.  “It looked like her insides were about to burst through her skin.”

It was at the hospital that Morgan learned the extent of Minoushka’s injury—the hole in her lower abdominal wall was over three inches long and two inches wide and would require surgery to repair this large defect. 

Angell to the Rescue

Before long Minoushka landed on the exam table of Dr. Mike Pavletic, head of surgery at Angell and world-renowned soft tissue surgeon.  Dr. Pavletic, who once re-attached a cat’s face after it was torn off by a car’s fan blade—and who this year constructed a new nose for a terribly injured Iranian street cat—explained the procedure for Morgan.  “While the repair of most hernias is often a routine procedure, Minoushka’s case was challenging because of the size of the defect in relation to the petite size of the patient.”  After weighing the risks Morgan agreed that the best course of action would be to repair the hernia.

Dr. Pavletic performed the operation on Nov. 20 and, barely a day later, the spry and playful cat was up and running—despite being fitted with a cone to ensure she could not remove the sutures holding the wound closed.  After a re-check on Dec. 4 to examine the wound and remove her sutures, Minoushka was pronounced good as new. 

“I’m so relieved that she is back with me and in such excellent shape,” said Morgan.  “She’s a very special cat and it gives me comfort to know that she has a long and healthy life ahead of her, and this ordeal was but a bump in the road for her.”