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Sad cone kitty.   —   Cats!

Although I try not to talk about my feline friends on my blog I am going to indulge myself just this once.

Tsunami recently had a little accident. For reasons we haven't quite figured out yet he's easily spooked. So the other day while he was doing his business in the litter box I accidentally spooked him and he tore out of the box like his ass was on fire, ran down the hall and dove under the bed, puffed tail and all. Later that night I noticed that as a result of his frantic and violent response to that spook, he had, in the process of taking off, tore one of his back claws completely off. Despite the blood he didn't appear to be in any pain, still playing and running and jumping all without a limp, so I let it set for a few days to see if he would clean and tend to it allowing it to heal itself. Well on Sunday I went to take a look at it to see how it was healing and what I saw was a slimy matted bloody mess, so we took him to the vet.

The vet says there's nothing we can do really, other than soaking it in betadine a couple of times to prevent infection, but that it would otherwise heal itself in time. He gave us a soft cone collar made of nylon instead of plastic, and said if Tsunami licks his foot too much put him in the collar for a while. Now, although a small cat Tsunami is quite strong and determined and he hates to be held down and forced to endure anything he feels is unpleasant. So it was a little surprising that when the vet put the soft collar on Tsunami, he not only tolerated it, but I think it depressed him. He looked sad and defeated and his usual fireball spirit seemed broken.

We kept it on for a little while to get him used to it in case we had to use it again, then we took it off. Since yesterday Tsunami has not only been licking his wound, but biting it. He bites and pulls at his foot like he has a splinter that he thinks he can get out with his teeth. Last night I put the collar on him for an hour or so in order to make him stop biting his foot. And of course as soon as I put the collar on him he starts to mope and becomes eerily catatonic. Then he starts to walk close to the furniture and into the furniture trying to bend the collar back or push it off. It's sad and kind of funny and a little disturbing at the same time.

My dilemma came this morning when I noticed Tsunami had been licking and biting his foot so much that it started to bleed. I'm afraid that with all of this constant mouth action his foot is getting it will develop an infection or become deformed with the new nail growth or simply just not heal. So just before I left for work I sat on the floor for a good ten minutes debating whether or not to put the collar on him and leave for the day, or to let him be, let him do what he will for the day and tend to his foot when I get home. It was a hard decision to make, leaning towards putting the collar on him, and in the midst of weighing the negatives and positives of my options I started to think of ways I could get out of work so I could stay home and monitor him. See, the problem is when he's in the collar he's ... strange. And he can't jump on anything because the collar blocks his paws from lifting all the way, and he's displayed trouble using the litter with the collar on because he can't sniff around the box and pick his spot, and once he got stuck under the bed. I'm afraid if I leave him in the collar unattended he'll injure himself in some way or make a messy accident in a place where messy accidents wouldn't be welcome.

So I left the apartment without putting the collar on and I feel just awful and helpless and distracted. I need to be home soaking his foot in betadine and watching him trying to cope with a soft cone collar on his neck, taking it off when he needs to eat or use the box, and trying to lift his spirits as he mopes with it on. If I could only figure out a way to make Commodore able to do these things for me I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore.

Anyone who says cats are independent and can practically take care of themselves are liars. They're fucking liars. God I hate Mondays.

Posted 6.14.2004

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