Our Himalayan Cats - Another Nervous Breakdown

[Cats]

November 1998

It's happened again. Redrum has had another nervous breakdown.

We had been keeping them indoors for obvious reasons. Anne was on school holidays, and had the cats out in the back yard where they were soaking up a bit of sun. The tree-loppers were due, but they were hours late. They arrived suddenly and burst into the backyard with a dog in tow. Ruffian hissed and went indoors. Redrum took off. The dog chased her into the backyard of the Neighbours From Hell, where she met with their dog. And Max. Max had a couple of swipes at Redrum and did a fair bit of damage. Redrum disappeared till late that night. When she came back, she seemed fine. We checked her out, but couldn't see or feel anything under the fur. We assumed she must have been okay, but we watched her carefully. Over the next few days, she started to stagger a bit, so we checked her out again. We couldn't find anything. Then she lay down and stopped moving. We took her to the vet. He shaved her back and found the bite marks. Two big abscesses, lots of dead flesh, and one very sick cat. So she got a round of antibiotics and she came home and started to look good. She ran around and jumped up and down and played. Great, we thought. No problems.

That lasted for three days and then she lay down again and stopped eating and moving. We waited another day or two to see if the antibiotics would pick her up, but no go. She lost so much weight, she looked starved. Her bones poked out, her fur went rough and started to fall out. This was the third time this had happened, so we started the force feeding treatment again. Every day she had quantities of milk and water squirted down her throat. Every night she had a small bowl of kangaroo meat shoved down her throat. We did this for a week and a half. I started to think that she was going to die this time.

It kept her alive, but only just. After a week and a half, she staggered to the litter tray and had the largest, most awful pooh I have ever had the misfortune to have to see a cat do. She wailed with the effort. But that was the turning point. After that, she would stagger over and drink water on her own. It was another three days before she started to eat on her own though. She couldn't leap up, she staggered when she walked, she was in a really bad way.

Two weeks later, she's really come along. She's put most of the weight back on, and she runs and jumps and has fun again. But she's still very timid. Unfortunately, she's got her voice back. She yowls and demands food and demands attention. Her voice even seems to have gotten bigger. I miss the peace and quiet when she just lay there. But then, I prefer to have her healthy and noisy, than sick and quiet.

That was the third time we've had to do this with Redrum. She's getting older, and I think that if she does it again, she'll die. So we have to keep her safe. That's part of the contract humans have with pets. We have to feed them and protect them. Here and now, we can't protect our cats unless we keep them locked up all day, and that's not much life for a cat. Also, the house is starting to smell.

As the Neighbours From Hell don't look like moving, we may have to move. Unless the magic moment occurs and one of us gets to Max.

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