This week, we had a minor cat drama at home. Our ginger cat Shandy got into a fight with a feral cat and was injured. I saw him limping when he got home, but I wasn’t too alarmed. However, a day or two later, it was clear that he was not ok. There was a swelling on his shoulder, he was licking one of his hind feet, he slept a lot and was grumpy. Grumpier than usual, I mean.
Shandy is an eight year old neutered tom. He was our first cat here in Israel. We literally picked him up from the street when he was a tiny kitten. Someone had dumped him and his littermates at the age of about one month old. Fortunately people were feeding them and advertised them on a pet adoption site. We took home a tiny little, mewing ginger furball with terrible diarrhea from being fed too much cow milk.
Oh, he was adorable!! Our kids were very little. Our oldest son, who was then only two years old, instantly fell in love with him. And his devotion never wavered in eight years. Even though he’s been scratched numerous times.
Shandy grew up to be a bit of a moody bastard. He sometimes lashes out without warning, seemingly for no reason. He does NOT appreciate being picked up or petted when he’s not in the mood. But he can also be very affectionate, when it suits him. Mainly to me, probably because I’m the one who feeds him. 🙂 He sits on me whenever he gets the chance, with a very possessive look on his face. My husband swears the cat tells him: “She is MINE!”
So now, our Shandy was in a bad shape and needed to be taken to the vet. I considered my options. Try to pick him up and put him in the carrier, and get my hands scratched open. Bundle him into a blanket and be in danger of getting my eye taken out. Try to lure him into the carrier with food, and wait until the cows come home.
There was nothing to it. I put on gloves, a coat and a steel reinforced mask. (Well, almost.) I grabbed him while he was sleeping and with lightning speed, stuffed him into the carrier before he had the chance to realise what was going on. I was lucky that his defences were down because he was feeling under the weather.
So, to the vet I went, with a hissing and spitting basket. There is no way that Shandy could be examined without being unconscious first (we’ve been through this before), so the vet poked a needle through the carrier bars to dose him with something. It took three doses of the stuff to finally knock him out. After about half an hour, we could at last have a look at him and see what was going on.
It wasn’t pretty. He had a severe bite on his shoulder, which was infected and had turned into an abscess. His left hind foot had been mangled quite badly. He was running a fever and was slightly dehydrated. The wounds were so bad that I had difficulty believing that another cat had done this. It looked more like the work of a small dog or who knows, a fox or a jackall? The vet still thought it had been a catfight, though.
He cleaned up the wounds, drained the abscess, put a bandage on Shandy’s leg, gave him shots of antibiotics and a painkiller, and hooked him up to a drip. Then he maxed out my credit card and sent me home with more antibiotics and a very drowsy, severely displeased cat.
Poor baby!! Fortunately, he is doing well now. He sleeps most of the time and recovers well. I manage somehow to give him the medicine, by squirting it into his mouth when he is least expecting it. He doesn’t touch any food with medicine in it. It makes him extremely grumpy with me, but he forgives me every time and then comes to sit on me. We’re still friends!
Have a good and catfight-free weekend! 🐱💚