We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


Rescued Merlot escapes having leg amputated

The kitten’s case underlines the importance of getting animals spayed and neutered, said the ISPCA

A KITTEN WHO almost had his paw amputated was saved thanks to the quick thinking of restaurant staff in Co Westmeath and the ISPCA.

When concerned staff from the Wineport Restaurant in Glasson, Co Westmeath spotted the black and white feline wandering around their property, they realised he had a sore paw.

They attempted to catch him, but he was very distressed and nervous due to his injury and so catching him was impossible.

Knowing that he needed help, they contacted the ISPCA National Animal Helpline. Their call was responded to by ISPCA Inspector Karen Lyons, who secured the cat using a cat trap.

The cat was named Merlot and brought to the veterinarian, where it was discovered that his left front paw had been severely injured. Some of the pads were missing, leaving the bone exposed.

His injury was so severe that it was initially thought that Merlot would have to have his leg amputated, said the ISPCA.

However, after he received pain relief and was put under veterinary supervision, it was decided to try a course of treatments, including antibiotics and Manuka honey, to save the leg.


Lyons said that despite his injuries, once Merlot was caught “he was purring”. “He was adorable,” she said, adding she had been concerned that he might have been a wild cat.

Merlot has been looked after at the ISPCA National Animal Centre, where he is described as a model patient and “a very affectionate little fellow”, despite all he has been through.

The vet and staff are very pleased that his wound has healed so well but he will now need physiotherapy to regain to maximise the movement in the leg.

Carmel Murray of the ISPCA said that this case demonstrates the need for neutering cats, so as to avoid having large numbers of abandoned, unwanted or wild cats.

The ISPCA has a cattery with limited capacity, and so it encourages people to be responsible and neuter their cats.

Merlot now has a family lined up to take him in as their companion animal. He will have to be an ‘indoor cat’, due to his injuries, but is expected to live a long and happy life.

For more information about the ISPCA and to see the many animals looking for new homes, visit

Caution: The second photo in the slideshow below may be distressing to view

Rescued Merlot escapes having leg amputated
1 / 2
  • Merlot after

  • Merlot before

Read: Blind kitten called Lorcan shows the need for spaying feral cats>

Read: ISPCA at “breaking point” dealing with increased calls for help>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.