Monday, 22 November 2010


I've been doing a lot of cat rescuing and other animal-related stuff lately and I've been feeling stressed and irritable (see previous somewhat intemperate post for an idea of my mood) and in need of a few days break, plus I had some personal paperwork stuff to sort out before the end of the month. So I decided to take a break for five days starting Saturday just gone.

So of course Susan has me loading the van in the pouring rain to fill it with stuff that's been hanging around for a while to take to Barnardo's in the city centre where I then unload it in the pouring rain. After that I went home for coffee and a nap and switched off my phone.

The landline phone woke me from a doze at one point but I ignored it. Shortly after that Susan arrived and told me that Carole had an emergency with a cat and, as all the vets were close, I had to take it to the PSDA emergency vet service at Heworth.

I went over and Carole was quite worked up, saying she'd never seen anything like it and got me to touch the side of the cat's head.

"It's an abscess," I said, a burst and very large abscess. Carole said the cat was only two years old and had been told that by its former owner. 

Half an hour later and I was with the vet and it was apparent that there was more wrong with it than just the abscess. The abscess itself was enormous and hadn't just appeared overnight. The vet said it was also affecting its inner ear. The ears themselves were speckled dark black. The long haired ginger cat's coat was heavily matted, a sign of stress, and the cat itself was very thin. And, far from being two years old, the vet told me it was a geriatric cat in which case the weight loss was a sure sign of a cat on the way out.

"Am I being horrible if I ask you to put him to sleep?" I asked the vet.

She said, "No, I think it's the best thing."

He didn't react at all when part of his leg was shaved or when the needle was inserted and his breathing stopped before even the last drop had been injected into him.

I called in at the shop on the way back to tell Susan and Andrea what had happened and then went home thinking that was that for the day. Sadly, not. Teatime and Susan had gone to visit her mother in the home when Little Bob started crying. I thought it was just him psyching himself up to do a poo but the crying went on. I picked him up and saw that his right eye had swollen up and his lower inner eyelid had also swollen and covered his eyeball. Little Bob was distressed and in pain. I rang Susan and told her to come home as we needed to take him to the emergency vets. 

In the end, Susan was too stressed so I just took Little Bob on my own. Just as well as there were a number of idiotic drivers driving far too fast in the dark on wet dual carriageways which meant trying to change lanes was a nightmare. Poor Little Bob was screaming his head off the whole time, though he calmed down once we got there. The same receptionist was on duty and we had a bit of a problem because they couldn't find Animal Krackers account, head office was closed, and her boss was off . This had happened earlier as well but this time they needed a deposit from me to cover both sessions -luckily I had my wallet with me as I had to pay £110.00 on my Visa card. The cost of the poor ginger cat alone was over £200.00.

The vet was reassuring when she checked the kitten over. It was probably caused by a cat scratch on the eye and the swelling can go down quite quickly. Unless it was an abscess behind the eye in which case the eye itself would have to be removed. Given the way Little Bob and Daisy play fight then a scratch is definitely the most likely. I hope. The vet gave him an antibiotic injection and an anti-inflammatory to reduce the pain and swelling. Then back down wet dual carriageways with lunatics driving far too fast and home.

Thirty six hours later and Bob isn't complaining, though his eye is still swollen and I'm about to take him to our vets to be checked out.

It would be nice to think that that's the only animal-related activity I'll be doing this week other than looking after my own cats but I am taking one cat to his new fosterer and hopefully permanent new owner this teatime and I'll be very surprised  if other things don't crop up.

If I suddenly stop blogging, it's because I've cracked up through stress and I am stress and anxiety-prone so that isn't really a joke.

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