Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, January 7, 2003 10:25 pm

Animal plumbing

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends — Lex @ 10:25 pm

You know it’s not necessarily a great day when you come home to find that someone has installed two new drains.

In your cat.

Of course, if it’s any consolation, the cat’s probably not having such a great day, either.

This all started when we got back from Roanoke Sunday evening to see that Hobbes, our 14 1/2-year-old orange tabby, was sporting what looked like a bad scrape on his right hip/buttock. (Do cats even HAVE buttocks?) He seemed happy to see us, and mobile, so I didn’t worry too much about it, other than taking the time to clean it and spray it with some antiseptic.

Silly me.

By Monday afternoon, I had detected a good deal of swelling. More ominously, Hobbes had stopped eating. Hobbes had never stopped eating in his life up to this point, so I took him to the vet this morning.

Turned out he had an abcess somewhere in size between a CD and a 45 rpm record, if you’re old enough to remember those (I believe they were 7 inches in diameter). The vet had to lance it and drain it (drain it of what? you ask. Pus. A LOT of pus. A lot of REALLY SMELLY pus. Want me to post a *.jpg?), and she wanted to leave the drains in place a few days to make sure all that ick got out. The most common cause of abcesses in cats (which are pretty common; this wasn’t Hobbes’ first) is puncture wounds, typically from a bite, typically from another cat. In this case we have a suspect, a gray cat who’s been coming around to try to eat Hobbes’ food.

My conversation with the vet lasted about 10 minutes. My favorite line of hers: “I’ve seen abcesses this big before … but only on cows.”

So Hobbes is now wearing one of those Elizabethan collars around his neck to keep him from biting at the drains, and he’s currently residing in our hall bathroom, with a litter box of his own for the first time since Ann developed her allergies and he became an outdoor kitty, which I believe was in ’96.

I won’t tell you how much this cost. Hint: It was almost as much as our new kitchen disposal.

The good news is, once the drains come out, he can probably go back to being an outdoor kitty, and he should suffer no lasting damage as long as he takes his antibiotics. And if there’s one skill at which I have become proficient in my 14 1/2 years of Hobbes ownership, it’s shoving horse pills down his throat.

Victoria is a little disturbed that a cat has taken up residence in her bathroom. Hooper, on the other hand, is delighted and keeps trying to open the door to give the cat a hug, which he normally does without incident. We’re restraining him for now, of course.

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