Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Missing Cat Returns Not Unscathed



We are a pet-loving household. I warned Steve, long before we were married that part of the deal should he decide to spend the rest of his life with me, would be a menagerie of pets. Now that I'm in charge of cleaning up after all of the animals we currently possess, I have scaled my needs back to include just two dogs and a cat. Last night, I worried that we might be down to just two dogs.

Kacey the cat's typical routine, for summer at least (she spends all winter impersonating a sofa cushion), is to spend her nights out roaming the neighborhood, to come home briefly to eat breakfast, spend the day asleep, eat dinner, and then head out again. She was in yesterday morning, went out, and then she disappeared. As most cat owners know, when kitty doesn't show up for a regular meal, one of two things has happened: a) something bad or; b) your neighbor is trying to steal your cat away by giving it better treats.

I realized something was up when I started preparing soup for dinner, including a savory broth, and cut up chunks of chicken. Typically the sound of the cutting board being placed on the counter top and the knife being unsheathed from the block is the animals' equivalent to sounding a dinner bell. They come running from all corners of the house. Once I got all the ingredients in the pot, I went outside to see if Kacey was hanging out with the kids while they skated. No cat. Dinner came and went, the dogs got fed, the kids were put to bed, and still she had not appeared. Finally around 10:30 I went to bed, certain that I would spend the next day scouring the neighborhood for her lifeless body.

At 3:30 I got up to see if Steve had let her in after I had gone to bed. Still no Kacey. I lay awake for a couple of hours, mentally composing a missing cat flier and figuring out where I would place them. Telephone poles, light posts, or trees? Which would get more exposure? Eventually I drifted off into a fitful sleep, full of dreams of the dogs finding Kacey dead on the lawn, or trying to introduce a new kitten to the family. Dramatic, aren't I? At first light, I headed out to the sliding glass door, expecting to see her sitting there in the spot she assumes when she has spent the night out. Still no cat. I opened the door and called to her, and almost immediately heard her meow from up on the roof. Nearly 24 hours after we had last seen her, she was back. Unscathed? Of course not.

Poor Kacey has sustained some sort of mysterious injury to her right front paw. I have not yet assessed the extent of the damage but she has an exaggerated limp and the foot looks swollen. She is, at the moment, sleeping on her favorite fleecy robe on my bed. I'm relieved that she has returned, but am dreading the veterinary bill that may accompany this injury.

7 comments:

Joanna said...

Not to sound all morbid or anything, but my family always had the 3 day rule - if the cat doesn't come back in 3 days time, it ain't never coming back.

I For One..... said...

Morbid but pragmatic. I would add that what came back after three days probably wouldn't be worth saving.

Julia said...

Obviously, you dont have enough cats since the dissapearance of one, when you have five, is nothing of note. Yes we are upto five when counting "Vapor" as I call her showed up shortly after Lucky. Vapor is very small grey fluffy and flees like the devil has come for her soul when she sees a person but gladly eats our cat food on the portch. But back back to the cat. I alway say if they dont show for a few days they have an abcess and after a week they are likely gone...

I For One..... said...

Yes, Kacey is definitely suffering from an abscess. She is hobbling around on three legs and has one giant swollen paw. She has to go to the vet this morning to get shaved and drained under anesthesia, so added to the list of her complaints are hungry and thirsty.

Julia said...

poor Kasie. poor Robin. Dont get scratched cleaning her. I bet you know how to towel the cat leaving the abscessed limb/area exposed. Yes?

I For One..... said...

I took Kacey to the vet today at 10:00. They told me not to feed her after 10:00 last night in case she required anesthesia. Poor girl was in the house for over 24 hours, refusing to use the litter box. When I got up this morning she was hungry, thirsty, and had to pee, on top of having a paw swollen to twice its normal size. No sedation was necessary at the vet though. She is home now, shaved, wound flushed, bladder emptied, and getting around a little better. She looks like heck though. Her paw is all bloody and if I try to clean it for her she does that long warning I-will-tear-your-face-off-if-necessary growl.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of cats I think I've discovered why Timmy has been so insane for the past months. Some time ago I got the brilliant idea that feeding him and OC(other cat the feral one) canned tuna fish meant for humans would be a good thing. More nutritious that cat food right?? and purer, right?? NOT! Of course they wre getting dried food as well. While we were on vacation Yvonne fed them tons or raw turkey meat instead. It suddenly hit me that tuna fish might be anethema to felines of the housecat type. A few hits on Google and there it is. The damned stuff is extremely bad , nay, toxic to cats. Live and learn.