A Hacked Cat

[Cats]

16th May 2001

I mentioned earlier that I accidentally hacked into Ruffian. It's true. Poor little bugger. Their chest fur gets all matted and mucky because they dribble their food and they lick their chests and they drool in their sleep. Once upon a time we would have brushed it out neatly, but now we just cut the matted bits out. So Ruffian's chest was matted and I sat her on my lap and I started to cut the matted bits out. She sat there and she purred non-stop. I would hold the matted bits, maneouvre the scissors behind and cut it out. I cut and cut and cleaned her up completely, and she sat and purred. No squeaks, no leaps for freedom, no hissing. I put her on the ground and she flopped over and languidly licked her paws. Then I noticed a patch of red, and I said "Oh no". I checked her chest and sure enough I had cut her. I must have pulled the matted fur out too far and when I snipped it out, I snipped a hole in her chest. The bloody hole was about the size of a ten cent piece and I could put my little finger inside her chest cavity. She never made a squeak of protest.

We found out why next day. Anne was already worried about her because one eye had gone a bit strange, so she took Ruffian to the vet. Anne found that Ruffian had a raging ear infection which had affected the eye. Ruffian didn't notice a hole being cut in her chest; she was too busy dealing with the infection. During the vet visit, Anne steadied Ruffian with a hand over her chest so the vet wouldn't see the hole and think we were into mistreating the cats. Once she was on antibiotics, the hole cleared up and healed over, and the infection went away. Her eyes are still a bit out of whack. But she's just as happy and frisky as she always was.

Nowadays when I trim her fur, I am even more careful than ever before to not cut her skin. If she isn't going to protest over losing a chunk of flesh, then it's up to me keep her safe. Cats seem to be very stoic. I look at these two now, and wonder if they are ill or in pain and just stupidly covering up.

[Ruffian with hole in
    chest]

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