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27 July 2010

Fight Cat

Fight Cat came by our garden last Saturday and I noticed that he was limping and had hurt his back leg on the right hand side.  He was having difficulty walking and was not putting any weight on the injured leg at all.  Other male cats appeared to be taking advantage of his weakened state and were challenging him to a fight and he was trying to defend his position as a top cat whilst at the same time being severely disadvantaged.  I felt sorry for him and gave him and extra slice of  sausage which is for the consumption of domestic animals.  He eagerly ate his ration and spent the afternoon resting in our garden then limped off.  I noticed that there was no improvement in his back leg on Sunday or Monday.  So this morning, I rang up a vet which is within walking distance from our house and asked him what his summer working hours were and briefly told him over the phone that I had a stray cat with a bad leg and that I was going to try to capture him and bring him in.

I got a straw shopping basket, a pillowcase, and a pair of heavy-duty gardening gloves.  Fight Cat was resting in our garden.  I went up to him and stroked him with the gloves and told him that he had to go to the vet.  I then got him by the scruff of his neck and attempted to put him into the pillowcase.  It took four goes before I was able to put him into the pillowcase which I placed in the straw shopping basket and walked to the veterinary surgery which is about 10 minutes away on foot.  Fight Cat was squirming and crying out loud and I was talking to him.  Luckily I did not come across anyone in the street otherwise people may have thought that I had gone mad.  

We arrived at the veterinary surgery and I rang the doorbell and went in.  The vet was expecting me and ushered me into his surgery.  I explained that there was a male cat which was about two years old and that he had hurt his back leg and was unable to walk.  The vet got an injection ready which had an anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic mixed together into one.  The vet injected the cat through the pillow case once he had worked out which side was the head and which side was the tail.  He then let the cat go and Fight Cat limped out of his surgery into his garden and sat down to recover from his ordeal.  The vet said the cat had an abscess and that the abscess was visible and its back leg was very swollen.

The vet said that he recognised Fight Cat and had seen him before in the street.  He said that male cats tend to have quite a large territory.  I asked the vet how long it would take for the injection to take effect and the vet said by this afternoon the cat will be feeling a lot better and by tomorrow he ought to begin putting weight on his leg again.  The vet said if I noticed that there was not an improvement in his condition I should try and recapture the cat and bring it into his surgery for a second injection.   The vet said it was difficult to know how far advanced the infection was in the cat's leg.  The vet said that the cat would be able to make his own way back to our house and that I did not need to put him back in the pillowcase again.

I had a chat with the vet as he was not particularly busy.  I said that I was fond of animals and it pained me to see them injured and hurt.  The vet said some people only liked to own pedigree cats and dogs and treated stray cats and dogs as if they were vermin.  I said people like that were pretentious and for them their animal was nothing more than a status symbol, an accessory.  The vet agreed with me.

I left the veterinary surgery happy in the knowledge that I had helped Fight Cat and had done a good deed.  On the way home, I thought about the parable of the good Samaritan.  Luke 10:25-37. 

I would have liked to have been a vet but I was not particularly good at sciences at school which meant that my career choices were narrowed down based on my aptitude. 

P.S. Fight Cat came or should I say limped to the courtyard in our garden at 5pm.  It was great to see him looking a little better and to know that he had managed to negotiate the streets, the cars and the erratic driving to make it back to the safe haven of our garden.  He had a late lunch and slept for the rest of the afternoon.  Here is a photograph of him taken this afternoon.  The dark area on his back leg on the right hand side (which is partly covered up by his tail) is the abscess.

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