Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Poor little Inky

We have two cats, Bib and Inky. Both are black, but Bib, the mother, has a white bib under her chin.

Last week Inky came home with her face all swollen. I only just had time to get her to the vet before they shut at 8pm, so the vet said to leave her overnight. It was an abscess almost as big as a golf ball and she'd need a small operation under general anaesthetic.

When I collected her on Wednesday, the poor thing had a dirty great drainage tube poking out of her cheek, and the vet said I'd need to squirt hydrogen peroxide into the hole every day for five days to prevent re-infection. He gave me a seringe without a needle to do it with.

Can you imagine a cat sitting still while you do that? In his autobiography (On Writing) Stephen King describes the daily cleaning of the pins into his broken leg as being "like someone poured gasoline over my leg and then set light to it." That sounds like hydrogen peroxide.

On Wednesday morning I wrapped her in a towel so she couldn't escape or scratch me. Then I squirted the stuff into the wound.

It was like a cartoon. The cat shot at least a foot into the air and whizzed out of the door. I didn't see her again until late evening.

On Thursday it was surprisingly easy to catch her, and I wrapped her up much more tightly, so I could do the job properly. Boy, did the poor thing howl.

On Friday and Saturday I couldn't get near her, although I did manage another squirt on Sunday.

And on Monday the drainage tube was supposed to come out. Well I finally caught her in the evening, wrapped her, and pulled on the tube. Nothing doing. My husband went for some tweezers. I managed to get a grip on it, but it still wouldn't come. Then I noticed that there was a stitch going through it. My heart hammered, but I managed to cut the stitch and pull it out, and Inky didn't seem too bothered by my efforts. After that the tube came easily, but there was pus with it, so I had to give the poor thing another squirt of the dreaded H2O2.

And to my astonishment she didn't even leave the room afterwards, and she was letting me stroke her again within ten minutes.

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