It’s Raining Cats and Kittens –– Broken Ones, Even
Here’s another pair of tales from the trenches, ones that’ll almost certainly make you cringe like they did me this morning (Friday, by now). But even more: They p***ed me off. (Can I say that in bloglandia? If not, bloglandia be damned for its silly scruples.)
So what set me off? Consider Case Number 1:
a. A client of one of my in-house colleague’s calls me on my cell at the crack of dawn (I never gave her my number).
b. He claims his cat’s guts are hanging out after she was spayed (not by me) last week.
c. I tell him to take the cat to an emergency hospital and never call me on my cell phone ever again.
Now, that may sound harsh but this is one client you don’t want calling you. In fact, this is one client you don’t want. at. all. Which is why he’s my colleague’s client and not mine. But still, he’s calling me. Probably because he couldn’t reach his preferred vet and thought I’d do just as well for an early morning ER session.
So there I was, mid-morning, feeling all crappy about how bitchy I’d just been to this poor old coot, and how one of his many cats was paying the price for it, when he finally drops the cat off. And guess what? This wasn’t a recently spayed cat. No, this was an older, never spayed cat with hulking, hard, ulcerated holes where her nipples should have been.
Mammary cancer in cats can be a very unfriendly condition. And for the record, it doesn’t come up overnight. Neither does it warrant an emergency wake-up call. What it does demand, however, is a reasonably perceptive owner who actually interacts with the animals he calls his own … and early intervention; which this cat’s owner was clearly incapable of providing.
And yet, he had the gall to be angry that I put him off for two hours. "She took her time enjoying her breakfast while my cat suffered."
What a bastard.
Then there’s the kitten, Case Number 2:
"Abandoned kitten," I’d read on the record as I entered the room. But that was perhaps the grossest understatement I’d been treated to all week. Consider:
- A greasy, grey, 6-week-old kitten, weighing all of a pound soaking wet
- Poorly responsive, recumbent
- Dehydrated, emaciated
- Breathing heavily, limbs all unnaturally splayed akimbo
- Dirty, oily and — yes — maggoty
This baby girl had probably been mauled gently by a big dog. Now, usually these kittens die fast, but this one either had the benefit of a playful predator, or the opportunity to get away fast. Both, most likely, seeing as it was still alive a full four days (!) after the "owner" found her.
The list of her ills? (CAUTION: Do not read the next paragraph if you’re queasy and/or eating breakfast.)
Bite wounds everywhere, all deeply abscessed and maggot-infested (one even emerged from the little girl’s vulva!), a fractured femoral head on the left, a fractured left humerus (right through the growth plate, dammit!), and pulmonary contusions.
That’s what drives me all crazy. You find a kitten. You care for it. You feed it with a dropper. You try to fix it up by anointing its festering wounds with olive oil (btw, not the thing to do unless you want some dressing with your maggots). And a few days later you decide it’s time to seek professional help.
What’s up with that?
I mean, what were you thinking?
Here in Miami it’s been raining every single day since Monday. And I’ve got to say we’re so overdue for rain I can’t help welcoming every drop. But the storm of broken cats and kittens? That’s got to stop. Compared to the relentless drizzle, it’s Chinese water torture.
Dr. Patty Khuly