Phoenix was rescued last year after being found mid-way on a 600 meter long bridge. He was huddled up in a ball, motionless. God knows how long he had been there or how many cars passed him before we arrived. He was bone thin, his face swollen double it's size with blood oozing from his mouth and nose. We rushed him to the vet where he stayed for a week, unable to eat and having difficulty breathing due to his battered face. When we rescued him that day, we thought that he had been hit by a car but during the vet examination, no injuries to his body were found. The bones in his face were broken. There was a puncture hole on the roof of his mouth. His face, neck and chest area had cuts as if he had been slashed with something sharp.
Our regular vet is the least mellow-dramatic person I know and I have never heard him say "kawaiso" (which is "what a sin" or "how pitiful" in Japanese). He is not the type of person to say "I think this cat has been abused". But he was sure that Phoenix's injuries weren't the result of a car accident.
We will never know for sure how he got to that bridge or how he was hurt. But one thing is for sure. He went through something horrible.
More than 6 months have passed since the day we found Phoenix. His injuries have healed but his face will always be disfigured. After all he has experienced, he has never lost his faith in people. Or as I like to believe, like the mythical creature that he is named after, he was born anew the day we rescued him from that bridge. To live again. To trust again. To be loved and safe in his new life.