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Cat's face surgeon

Not for the faint of heart: see a photo of Edgar post-surgery after the jump.

Memo to cat owners: be sure to keep your pet away from your car's fan belt, lest she follow in the footsteps of a very lucky Massachusetts cat named Edgar. Edgar, a four-year-old female, was missing for three days last week before returning home, where she was found in her litter box by her owner. A portion of Edgar's face was -- to quote the gruesome Associated Press report -- "dangling from her head."

Elizabeth Kendrick, a surgical technician at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, explained what happened next: "When her owner saw her face, she passed out." (The owner asked not to be identified.) Luckily, she regained her faculties quickly enough to rush Edgar to an animal hospital. The AP reports:

Remarkably, Edgar suffered no major blood loss nor any permanent nerve damage from her accident. She just needed to have her facial skin stitched back on during an hour-long surgery, according to veterinary surgeon Michael Pavletic.

"And she should be fine after this," Pavletic said.

Besides the skin hanging from Edgar's face, the cat seemed normal, Kendrick said.

"She was purring and sticking her head up so we could pet her," Kendrick said. "She even tried to chew at her skin. I'd never seen anything like it."

Cats are known to seek out car engines for warmth, but most who get caught in fan belts don't survive the ordeal.'s tips for preventing fan belt accidents:

As you walk by your vehicle, knock on the hood a couple of times. This is a good idea any time of the year but is especially important in the winter. Another option is to honk your horn before starting the engine. This will often scare the cat out of the motor. This is most important is within a few hours after you have returned home and the engine has not had a chance to cool.


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