Cat Fight!

Entry #312

I’m finally starting to feel like my old self again. Snack Dispenser has kept me a prisoner inside the house for about a week now, dutifully plying me with antibiotics and painkillers. Here’s what happened:

My misfortune started last Tuesday, when a large grey cat, a stranger to the neighborhood, suddenly appeared in my backyard. Now stray cats do happen by from time to time, but this is my turf and it’s my job to make sure that they don’t linger. I approached him confidently with my fur impressively puffed up and my tail doing that slow angry side to side swish. When he didn’t move I ramped up my display with a mock charge of 3 to 4 feet. That’s when everything went terribly wrong.

Before I could blink he was on me, and we were suddenly a rolling fur ball of howling, snapping, clawing body parts. This was far more than I had bargained for! After a few seconds of sheer terror, I managed to break free and run up the back steps onto the porch. What had just happened? I’m not a fighter. I bluff and I’m usually darn good at it. It’s never failed until now…

Lucky for me this stranger quickly lost interest in his cowardly adversary and after a few minutes of staring up at me he turned and wandered off. I hunched there for a while trying to calm myself and make some sense of all this. Snack Dispenser finally arrived home and let me into the house. I jumped up on the back of my favorite chair and I tried to ignore the fact that my right front leg was starting to throb. I examined it close and noticed at least a half a dozen small puncture wounds just below my elbow. I guess this grey stranger did manage to get a few good licks in, and at the time I was just too hyped up on adrenaline to notice. I stayed where I was, and by midafternoon it had really started to hurt. Even a trip into the kitchen to the food bowl didn’t hold any interest for me. By evening I started to feel cold all over and began to shiver. I left my chair and went behind the couch for the night in the hopes that it would hurt less if I was incognito. When I woke up the next morning my leg was really starting to swell and the pain was getting much worse. I felt just miserable. Snack Dispenser returned home late that afternoon and I could hear her calling and looking for me in all my favorite haunts. She finally tracked me down, pulled out the couch and reached to pick me up. Her hand brushed against my sore leg and I let out a loud howl followed by a hiss – neither of which I am too proud of.

Snack Dispenser was quick to see that I needed help and off we went yet again to see Dr. K at the Veterinary hospital. Dr. K looked me over, took my temperature, gave a gentle exam to my sore leg, had a brief chat with Sharon and then quickly gave me a needle in my back end. That’s all I can remember.

Those needles have some kind of magic in them that makes me immediately forget my worries and fall into a deep sleep. By the time Snack Dispenser arrived to collect me I had pretty much all of my wits back about me again. This is what I overheard from her chat with Dr. K: Apparently I had something called cellulitis. This is a diffuse infection under the skin caused by all the bad bacteria that live in a cat’s mouth and are spread through cat bites. I guess if it goes on long enough it can progress into an abscess, which is a pocket of ugly pus under the skin that needs to be lanced. Snack Dispenser had caught my problem before this complication could happen. When I was drugged Dr. K had clipped the hair and disinfected the wounds on my leg. She then gave me some injections to fight the infection, help with the pain, and bring down my fever which I guess was quite high at 40.5*C (37.5 – 39.0*C is about normal). They then had a brief discussion on my vaccine status. Rabies virus and Feline Leukemia are both spread through bite wounds. Snack Dispenser is good at keeping my vaccines up to date and appropriate for my lifestyle. Like I said before, I’m feeling quite a bit better and pretty much have my old confident strut back. Again Lord of the Manor and Master of my Domain – albeit with a bit more caution towards strangers in grey coats.