Our Himalayan Cats - Ruffian Gets Her Throat Ripped

[Cats]

6th September 1998

As I write this, Ruffian is at the veterinarian. We'll know later tonight if we get to bring her home. Max has badly ripped her throat.

It was a peaceful Sunday, with lots of warm sunshine. The people next door were away, and there was no sign of Max. We let our cats out in the back yard and kept watch. Redrum stayed in the yard and was a good cat. Ruffian, who cannot leap over fences, somehow got over the fence at the back, visited all the neighbours to our left, headed past our place and went next door where Max attacked her. I hadn't seen her for a few minutes and was out looking for her. Joan told me that she had seen Ruffian going past her place just seconds ago, so Anne rushed out, looked next door and saw Ruffian with Max. Max ran away, and Anne grabbed Ruffian and brought her back to me. Nothing seemed wrong till I started hunting through the fur. Oh, oh. Bite marks. Big bite marks at the back of her neck. Six puncture wounds and a couple of big rips and then they started bleeding. We trimmed off the fur and cleaned them up as best we could. By the time we finished, they didn't look too bad. They probably wouldn't even need a visit to a vet. Anne was bemoaning the fact that Max could do so much damage in just a few seconds when we noticed the bleeding from the throat. Her throat was badly ripped and blood was flowing. It was bad. Anne tried to phoned the vet while I held Ruffian and staunched the flow of blood from her neck wounds. Ruffian went into shock and collapsed on me. Eventually, the vet answered (they take the phone off the hook while they operate on weekends) and Anne got ready. In the meantime, Ruffian went out of shock and wanted to walk around. Her throat had puffed up and looked pretty ghastly. Her tongue was a very pale pink, almost white, instead of its usual ruddy colour. Loss of blood, or shock maybe?

Anne got her to the vet and they cleaned up what they could. There's more damage to the trachea and jugular and things. We won't know the result until later tonight. Now I have to find out how she managed to get out of the back yard. If I can't find it, then they don't go out into the back yard again at all.

Late breaking news: the vet is keeping her overnight. She's had a big dose of antibiotics but she hasn't perked up. She's looking pretty depressed, so he says. I'd be pretty depressed too. The house feels a little empty without her silly little presence in it. We'll know more tomorrow evening.

10th September 1998

Latest news: Ruffian is home and alive and well. For the first few nights she wasn't very well. She was depressed. Lay around and moped and didn't do much. She's on antibiotics and her throat is healing very quickly. The bite marks at the back of her neck are healing well too. No abscesses. There is one problem at the back of her neck. It was shaved so we could get at the bite marks, and now she is scratching it and has scratched it raw and bloody. I solved this by cutting a sock in half and sticking that around her neck. She doesn't like it but it's fixed the problem and the scratched part of her neck is healing well. She looks really funny with the sock on, and leaps and bounces and hurls herself around in an attempt to get rid of the sock. One of the funniest things I've seen is Ruffian sitting still, then spinning in a circle a few times and then leaping straight up in the air, hit the ground with all four legs pumping furiously, and going nowhere because the fur on her feet provides no traction on a polished wood floor. She scrabbles furiously for a few seconds and then falls on her side. And then she gets offended by our laughter, puts a haughty expression on her face and marches out of our sight.

She'll be right as rain in a few days. Great recuperative powers. And her tongue is back to its normal dark pink colour.

20th September 1998

A few days after the attack, we found that there was still a problem with the back of her neck. She had learnt to scratch around and under the sock. The back of her neck became all bloody and messy and oozed pus as she tore at her flesh. My next preventative measure was to bandage the claws on the foot that she uses to scratch with. This has solved the problem up to a point. Her neck is healing well, and a fine crust has formed over the scratched bits. But her bandaged claws are irritating her. Anne removed the bandage tonight and already her neck is being ripped again. I don't know what to do. I am tempted to bathe the neck and wash the crust away to remove the itching, and bandage her claws again. I don't know how long this saga is going to continue.

In the meantime, Max has attacked two other cats. One in the house opposite us, and Joan's Oscar on our left. With everyone gunning for Max, I find it amazing that he has managed to survive this long. Nine lives indeed.

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