Faint cries from the bushes drew Wayne Dunham to his backyard last week. He was shocked by what he found hiding in the darkness, a stray cat fighting for its life.

“His throat was completely gaping . . . he was in really rough shape,” Dunham told CTV Kitchener.

He and his daughter rushed the wounded cat to a local veterinary clinic. An examination revealed a gaping, infected three-inch wound across the animal’s throat.

Veterinarian Robert Close says he is certain the trauma was caused by human hands.

“There was no tearing at all. If it was a dog wound or bite. it would have been torn,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been a straight line laceration.

Close performed two surgeries to save the cat’s life. He says his patient has been remarkably resilient since the operations and he expects the cat to make a full recovery.

Dunham had been feeding the unnamed stray cat in his backyard for about a month before the incident. He says the cat had vanished for about two weeks before returning with serious injuries.

Dunham and his family plans to adopt the cat once it recuperates. They’ve chosen the name “Will” – for his will to live.

“I think he will fit right in, he has an amazing little spirit. Despite what’s happened to him, he is a very happy little cat.”