One night though, we had the worse night I can think of. We were asleep and around midnight we can hear him shuffling around under the bed. Not his usual activity. Normally he's fast asleep on a pillow somewhere. We saw him in the moonlight hobble out of the bedroom. No meowing, no growling, just his footsteps on the wooden floor. Immediatly, we switched on the light to see why he was limping, and to our absolute horror, we saw his left back leg just hanging there, and there was blood everywhere. A big pool of it on the rug. At this point he begins meowing in a painful way and we see that he cannot put any weight on his back leg and he's really struggling to move. We layed him down for an inspection and see he has a puncture wound at the top of his hurt leg. I got the emergency vet out and we wrapped him up in a towel and took him to the vetinary hospital.
He had had his back leg shattered somehow, and the bone had forced itself through the skin. The doctor gave him a pain killing injection and he was put in a cage to rest til the morning.
I got the phone call next midday. The nurse told me that his back leg had been dislocated and the femur had been completely shattered. There was no way they could pin the bones together, it had to be amputated. The shock was quite unbelievable. I couldn't grasp the fact that our Archie would lose a leg. Would he be the same cat? Would he be able to enjoy a good standard of living? I searched the internet for facts on animal amputations and really found not a lot to put myself at rest.
Cats adapt very very well to these operations, and losing a back leg is much better (in a respect) than losing a front one. Cats get into all sorts of places, jumping up and down, and the loss of a front leg would really limit his jumping down abilities. So at least that was something.