It’s been a busy time lately, what with the History Festival, the Beer Festival and then a couple of weeks holiday. Amidst all of this excitement I didn’t get around to blogging the sad tale of our injured cat, Scud.
Scud is a bit of a scrapper, and as he’s got older he increasingly seems to come off worst in these frequent altercations, so injuries are not uncommon. However, this one was different to the usual (often bloody) bites and scratches he sustains.
First though, some background. I didn’t want a cat. Don’t get me wrong, I like cats. I have fond memories of having a cat as a child. I just didn’t want to have the responsibility for a pet now.
When I met my wife she had a golden retriever and it was a case of love me, love my dog. But by the time I met her, Schroeder (for, improbably, that was his name), was already getting on in years and, inevitably, after a time, he passed on to that great kennel in the sky, with all of the tears and heart-ache that entails.
Meanwhile, I had acquired a giant iguana. When I say giant, I do not exaggerate: he was 5 foot long. As he got into his “teens” he got territorial, terrorised both the dog and my wife, so he had to go. Luckily I knew someone all too keen to take him off my hands.
“No more dogs”, I said after Schroeder’s passing, and my wife agreed.
“In fact, no more pets at all”, I said, and again my wife agreed; although this time less convincingly.
Then a short time passed and the badgering started:
“Can I have a rabbit?”
Can I have a hamster?
“Can I have a cat?”
And so it was that one day I got home from work and walked into the kitchen to find some cat bowls, some cat toys and a guilty looking wife.
Scud came from Teckles animal shelter and was already named Scud, though the people at Teckles didn’t like it. I did though, and having got him home and seen him dashing about the place we thought it seemed appropriate, so the name stayed.
And so to his current plight. We came home from work to find him curled in a tight ball on his bed. Scud is very much an outdoorsy cat when the weather is good, so this is a sure sign that he is feeling sorry for himself. Closer inspection revealed a lot of blood on the side of his face which my wife bathed and then left him alone.
It was only later, when he got up and we noticed he was limping badly, that we discovered the large gash in his chest. This was clearly not the result of a cat fight.
This is not the first time that he has sustained such an injury, but it is the worst. The culprit, we believe, is the barbed wire that a neighbour has attached all along the fence around his property. Well, I say all around; the bit that adjoins our garden mysteriously developed sudden and catastrophic metal fatigue within days of going up, but that still leaves two long stretches of the stuff.
This is extremely annoying – not just because of the large vet bill, but because of the pain and suffering to Scud. He hates the vet and he hates going in the car – probably because that always means he is going to the vet – so that stress alone is bad enough. But now he had to be left there, knocked out and stitched up.
When we got him home, Scud was an unguided missile for some time: staggering comically around and keeling over every time he tried to go around a corner. You shouldn’t laugh, but I did.
Probably the worst indignity, though, was being locked in for ten days while his wound healed. As I say, he is an outdoorsy cat, and he has never used a litter tray – he refuses to go to the toilet in the house. The poor thing had his paws crossed for several days before he finally gave in. The top tip, we were told, was to use dirt instead of kitty litter, as he would recognise that as somewhere to go to the loo, and it seemed to work.
I am pleased to say that Scud is now well on the mend, but I would love to be able to march around to the neighbour’s house and present them with a vets bill or, even better, sue them for damages. Sadly though, in the absence of CSI Brockworth, we can’t prove how he was injured, so there’s nothing that we can do.