IF a cat has nine lives, this cute ginger tomcat has certainly used one up.
Jethro was rescued by a woman who saw him struck down by a car on the A21 between Sedlescombe and Hastings last Tuesday morning.
She took him to 1066 Veterinary Centre in Battle Road, St Leonards.
Vets there were ready to put him to sleep as they thought his injuries were too severe for him to survive.
But just before he was about to be put down, against all the odds he moved and started meowing.
Nic Dunn, practice manager, said: “The lady who brought him in was driving her mother to hospital and a car ahead of her hit the cat before driving off.
“She stopped her car and picked the cat up, which was in complete shock.
“He had a completely smashed leg and a broken jaw hanging off.
“We put him on oxygen and gave him pain relief as Jethro was breathing so badly.
“There was no way we could contact the owner and thought he was a stray so we took the decision to put him to sleep.
“But despite all the odds he moved and started meowing. Later he was sitting up eating and drinking.”
Jethro, which is the name vets at the practice have given him, has since undergone two operations.
An orthopaedic vet put metal pins in his front right leg and a wire has been put in his jaw, as it was completely smashed following his brush with death.
Jethro is believed to be around three years old.
Mr Dunn said: “It has been a success story for Jethro as he has come through adversity. Last week he was virtually ready to be put to sleep.
“This little chap is so lovely.”
Vets are trying to trace his owners so he can be reunited with them.
Call 01424 839010.