. . . and thereby hangs a tail

Well, let's just say Mr. Kermie has had a rather unpleasant day. He was in the garage, minding his own business quite thoroughly, when DD3 came out to clean litterboxes. Then, when she headed out to the dumpster, he must have thought, in that little mind of his, "Hey! I will get outside when she opens the door." And he went for it.

Actually, to be fair, 97% of him succeeded.

The remaining 3%, white tuft and all, was amputated by the swinging door as it shut. DD3 had no idea this had occurred, only that Big Bad Kitty had gotten out yet again. She brought him back in the house, and he went running past me, looking as if he had seen a ghost. Now it's clear he felt he'd been hit by a . . . closing door. He seemed to have something hanging from his tail, but then I realized his tail looked a bit . . . abbreviated. What was hanging from his tail was the tail bone. All together now--eeeeeeew!

By this time, he had run scurrying under my bed, a disaster for an injured animal, from the human point of view, because no help can be provided with the cat holed up in the darkest recesses thereunder. But I knelt beside the hidey hole and said very calmly, "Aw, Kerm, come out Honey, come out," and he did. Looking quite befuddled. Like, "WTF happened, Mom?"

I picked him up, and together Sophi and I quickly ascertained that he was missing the aforementioned 3%. Fortunately he was not bleeding much, but we settled him into a bathroom to keep him corraled while I called the vet, and DH kept him company and cleaned up after him. The daughter burst into tears feeling that she had done something horrible to her Kermie. We both reassured her that it was not her fault and that it was amazing it had never occurred until now.

Our vet--booked up solid. The emergency vet in Palo Alto--bring him on in. So a few minutes later, DD3 and I got organized and "encouraged" him into the cat carrier. Drove up to PA and found that it wasn't just about stitches, but rather about a brief anesthesia while they cleaned up his mangled appendage and removed the last bit of the tailbone. We got it all agreed upon and they said to return at around 2 p.m.

We tried to jolly ourselves through noodle soup in PA at ZAO, and then in a stationery store. DD3 hoped to find a greeting card that demonstrated to her English teacher that E.B. Brownings' "How Do I Love Thee?" poem is Hallmarky. She found it but wasn't satisfied that it looked sufficiently silly. I found paper clips in the shape of dog bones (a little collection of mine is of various types of paper clips). We went to get a coffee and then were called to the vet's to get Kerm a little early.

He had on this gorgeous pale blue collar, like a small lampshade worn around the neck (makes one think of the dim bulb that this particular lamp shines with, but that might be too harsh). He had a three inch beige rat tail where his fluffy and beautifully tufted white-ended tail used to be. As accessories, he brought home a bottle of antibiotic drops and six pain med syringes to be squirted as needed into his cheek pouch if he is vocalizing (read, "howling") or going at his tail bandages. I was a little dubious when they mentioned that he needs to wear the collar for 14 days, and that the stitches need to stay in for 14 days (in other words, he can't remove them himself with his own surgical equipment). We shall see.

As we left the vet's, I opined on the possibility that this little accident might remove his interest in running out doors to get outside. The people in the vet's office smirked a bit and one of them said, "It will be interesting to see if it has any effect on him at all." Weird--it's as if they know Kermit!

I'll leave out the part about the effect all this has had on our wallets. But Kerm is one of our children, and of course children must be cared for and nurtured, even when they hurt themselves doing things we've told them a hundred times before not to do.

Lastly, when we brought him home, he was really ready to get out of that cage. Percy with intense curiosity came right up to give him a thorough sniff-out, while Pippi stared in absolute horror, eyes wide and dilated, backing away as if from a deadly viper, and her tail as bloated as I have ever seen it. She has only in the past half hour or so started to think that perhaps Kermit is just Kermit, minus a few percent. Cleo, true to her sisterly ways, is just taking it all in stride, and it will be no time at all before she gives him a thorough, tender bathing. [Memo to self: keep her from licking his bandages!!]

There is no moral to this story unless you like the idea that we should live our lives without cats. I don't understand that concept in the least. :^)

Have a pleasant weekend, and if you have cats, be sure to catch the door in time.


Bells said...

oh poor Kermie! He looks so forlorn. You must keep us posted on whether or not he changes his behaviour, post-recovery!

Sue H said...

Poor, poor kitty. So lucky that nasty door didn't hit him on the other end. In a very short time he won't even miss his tail, and if I know cats, he will still try to be a Houdini.