Aug 182009

Raedthinn started off a few years ago as a half-starved half-wild kitten. He quickly grew to be a pretty enormous housecat. While it seems he’s perfectly happy with his size, it does mean that he doesn’t fit certain places that he, as a housecat, is supposed to. Including the top of this little cat playhouse thing:


On the other end of the humor spectrum, visible in the background is what may be one of the last photos of Fingers. A few days ago she developed a lump on the left side of her throat that quickly grew… and quickly lost fur as she scratched at it. By yesterday it was an ugly, hideous thing an inch and a half in diameter that looked like a bright blood-red scab; it prevented her from moving her head, and clearly was a source of great pain. By this morning she was clearly weak from lack of eating and, most obviously, agony. So I caught her and put her in the basement with ready access to food and water, hoping that without other feline competition she could eat in peace. A few hours later I went down to check on her… and saw just about the nastiest, most freakin’ horrible thing I’ve seen in a good long while. She managed to scratch through the scab-thing, releasing what looked for all the world like chocolate milk. *Lots* of chocolate milk. VAST quantities of the stuff, actually spurting out all over everywhere. It was… really, really horribly disgusting. So, into the crate she went, and then on to the vet. The end result was that the vet cut away the affected skin. Which turned out to be just about a *quarter* of the skin on her neck… from right down the middle up her throat, to the left side below her ear. It was really… tragic. Since this ain’t or Ogrish, I will post no photos of it. It’s sufficient to saw that her muscles are exposed over an area of about 4 square inches. The vet said she should pull through fine… but I have doubts.

This sort of thing is just par for the course for outside cats. The world is full of dangers, pain and sorrows, and outdoor cats are exposed to more than their share of it. One must accept that this is so, because it is so. Still, one cannot be expected to be happy about it. It was not a happy day.

To make the day even less cheerful, while at the vet I saw a set of Xrays on the wall display, showing the interior torso of a largish dog. Complete with two air rifle pellets. And on the floor was a vet-nurse, sitting with that very dog, who looked in his own bandaged and chest-tubed way as bad or even worse than Fingers. I gather that he was not expected to pull through. As I left the vets office with Fingers – sedated really heavily (Fingers, not me) – I passed an Animal Control cop going to check on the dog. While I’m not a dog person, I hope that someone, real soon now, is going to get a nice visit from some cops who *are* dog people.

 Posted by at 12:51 am
  • 2Hotel9

    Sorry to hear about Fingers, she is a pretty momma cat, hope her kittens are OK. Was it a subdermal hematoma? Or an insect/snake bite? One of ours, KittyKat, has had hematomas in each ear from bacterial infection, the ear swells up and fills with fluid. Sounds like what happened to Fingers.

  • 2Hotel9

    Oh, and as for the dog shooter, I’m more of a Biblical thinker on that, put a dozen or so pellets in them, and refuse them medical care for a few months.

  • 2Hotel9

    Sorry. Didn’t mean to ignore Raedthinn. We have a biggun, Pumkin. She is a shorthair black&white, looks much the same, in markings AND girth!

  • Michel Van

    that sad about Fingers

  • Brianna

    I too am a cat person; I hope yours pulls through okay.

    As for the dog, while I suppose it could possibly have happened by accident, I somehow doubt it. Hopefully they know or find whoever’s responsible, and deal with him/her appropriately.

  • admin

    > hope her kittens are OK.

    I have the suspicion that her kittens are no more. She moved them to parts unknown well over a week ago, I’ve seen no evidence of them. While sedated at the vet yesterday, she was found to have little to no milk. So I’m thinking that they are gone.

    > could possibly have happened by accident

    Unlikely. A *single* pellet could be an accident. Two pellets takes effort and intent.

    As of this morning, Fingers is up and around, milling with the other cats. If she survived the night – which she clearly did, then I think she’s got a good shot. Still looks like a horror-movie zombie, though.

  • sferrin

    Hope your cat pulls through. I had a tabby growing up that went through something similar several times (though not to the degree yours has). He’d go down to the field to catch rats, sometimes get bit, get an abcess, bald spot, vet trip, and then healed up. Only to repeat the process a year or two later. By the time he was an old codger his head would practically rattle when he’d shake it from all the “battle damage”. Hopefully yours pulls through. Cats can be surprisingly resilient.

  • sferrin

    Did I understand correctly, the vet left the wound OPEN after cutting away the skin? Do they plan on closing it back up at some time?

  • admin

    > the vet left the wound OPEN after cutting away the skin?

    Yes, indeed, very Freddy Kruegerish looking.

    Good news, everyone: late this afternoon I heard the plaintive cry of a tiny kitten, and found not one, but *all* *five* of Fingers’ kids safe and healthy in a new nest (in a window well). I brought them into my basement via the open window, and coxed Fingers in through that route. So the entire family is currently chillin’ at Casa Del Lowther. As for Fingers, she understandably looks horrible, but is acting surprisingly chipper. Yesterday and this mornign she looked upon me as The Enemy… understnadable, given that I hauled her off to The Place Where Bad Things Happen, and somethign monumentally *horrible* happened. But by this evening, she was friendly again… not only rubbing her head on my hand, but her wound (bleah).

    You know, if you were to inflict this sort of damage upon a human, said human would be out of action for *weeks.* The next day, said human would likely do little but moan, toss and scream. But Fingers seems to be just shrugging it off. Momacat had some quite horrid medical/surgical issues a month or so ago, and she also shrugged them off. It’s really quite impressive.

    > Do they plan on closing it back up at some time?

    No. It will, apparently, close up on it’s own. Fingers and the late lamented Bitey had similar – though smaller – abcesses a few years back, leading to gaping, horrific open wounds… which closed up without so much as a blemish.

    Fingers and her kids will be guests of the lavish Basement until it’s time to wean/adopt them out… and get her spayed.

  • JP

    Yea, outdoor cats average lifespan is two years whereas an indoor cat can be as long as twenty. After several expensive abcesses, I learned to sopt the symptoms quicly a open up the skin and keep it draining until it’s healed, the cats saliva can heal the skin fast and keep the bacteria trapped until it pops, which is what you saw, dfinetly gross.

  • Pingback: The Unwanted Blog » Blog Archive » Feline healing()