Saturday, October 17, 2009
A couple of days ago my cat returned home with a swollen back leg. Polly (a polydactyl, hence her name) hobbled along for the night, licking and tending to her wounded back leg. There were two puncture wounds and I assumed that one of the non-venomous snakes in our area finally got a good whack at her. A much-deserved victory for the snakes, in my opinion. I do get tired of her bringing them onto our back porch and flinging them around like jumpropes. Not cool. So, score for the snakes.
I decided to take her to the vet on Friday, the day after we noticed the swelling, and it turns out that it wasn't a snake bite. The doctor shaved the wound and cleaned it up and explained to me that the three slice marks on the pad of her foot were more likely from another animal, even another cat. That's believable. Polly, she's a ruffian, a scrappy little cat who spent her first weeks of life without a mother and defending herself from the grabby hands of a pre-teen girl who didn't know how to take care of her. My cat is 'hood.
His suggestion? I'm to give her .02 mLs of "Cat Advil" in the morning and, for 4-6 days, soak her wound in a betadine/water solution, then an epsom salt/water solution, then rinse completely with running tap water to remove any risk of Polly licking the epsom salt clean off and developing a monster case of diarrhea. He was concerned that I wouldn't be able to handle this. I told him there are five people in my household and if we can't handle one little cat...
Well, let's flash-forward to explain why I am sporting a greasy coat of Neosporin on over 50% of my back and about 20% of my front. I have holes in me. Not scratches. HOLES. And this sordid tale pretty much proves that at least two people in my household can't handle one little cat.
I grabbed Polly's front legs and back legs to gently set her in the warm water soak of betadine I'd prepared in the bathroom sink. After a brief struggle, I sternly explained to the cat that I would win. I always win. Elle giggled because she probably knew, in the back of her mind, that she was about to witness her mother get busted up by a cat. Polly made some noises I can't duplicate or spell out, so just imagine a low-key cat fight in your backyard. Now involve water and 20-something claws. My assistant, Elle, calmly stepped back and giggled some more. Then she popped the drain after a few minutes and we started prepping the epsom salt soak.
The epsom salt soak went rather well, I think. I held the cat in a headlock pretty much at this point and just stuck her bottom half in the water. She fought me again until I reminded her that I always win. I should have known that, with those words having been said, my cat would begin to channel Satan (or Satan's cat). Her eyes glazed over and she stared right through me, but quietly endured the epsom salt soak. I was good for about two minutes until I told Elle how freaky it was that Polly was looking at me like that, with her eyes so big and her mouth wide open. The second Polly let out a low growl, Elle hopped into the bathtub for safety and just watched me from the mirror. Elle kept saying, "ooooh, oooh!! Ooooooooh!! (giggle, giggle) Oooooh!!" It was annoying. I'd been given very specific instructions by the vet to rinse as much epsom salt off of Polly's leg as possible to prevent her from developing a bad case of cat-diarrhea if she licked it off, so my assistant popped the drain and I started running the tap water.
Yeah, okay. People, don't ever do that. Seriously, if the cat gets diarrhea you've got to admit it's better than losing an eye. Or two!! Polly freaked the hell out and instead of jumping out of my arms and tearing down the hallway in a panic, she decided to climb me like a tree. Claws were suddenly in my back and in my front and in my arms and in my scalp! Elle jumped in the bathtub again and nervously screamed, "I wanna leave!" and I screamed, "Get the cat off me!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!" and she screamed, "Polly's ripping holes in your shirt, Mommy!" and I continued to scream, "Get the cat off me!! Aaaaaaaaah!!!!"
Meanwhile, my parents were watching a rerun of The Locator and left me to depend on an 8-year old to answer my increasingly desperate pleas for help. The same 8-year old who was hiding in the bathtub!
I finally grabbed Polly's arm or tail or something and yanked her off of me and threw a towel over her, much like Steve Irwin used to do when he would catch man-eating alligators. The towel was rigged to swaddle her and prevent her from sticking a rogue claw in me again. I took her back to her crate and locked her in. Polly instinctively started to lick her leg and since I never got the epsom salt rinsed completely away, I reminded her that I won. There's a kitty litter box in there with her. She'll be needing it soon.