Sunday, 26 September 2010

Eventful, I think they'd call it

So I had planned a cheery photo-filled post all about what we were up to this weekend. The celebration of Husband's step-father's 87th birthday followed by a trip to the new cottage (tentatively named "The Corbies") with details of all the work we were planning to do there this weekend. I will still do that, I promise, but not tonight. Our weekend was knocked off kilter slightly when Bellus (the quieter black and white one of the cats - not the one that chases squirrels up the house walls) got himself hit by a car on Friday.

We didn't know he had been hit by a car at first, of course. The boys and I came home on Friday afternoon to find that Bellus had done his doings on the kitchen floor and was, even more unusually, covered in the said messy and unpleasant doings. I pinned him down to scrub him clean and he barely complained. He was subdued, breathing rather heavily and did not want to eat. We could see he was not himself and decided we would monitor him overnight and figure out what to do in the morning. By Saturday morning he was no better (Zyra sleeping on his head won't have helped) and I managed to wangle an emergency appointment first thing at the vet.

Where it was confirmed that he had almost certainly been hit by a car and suffered either a pneumothorax or a ruptured diaphragm, hence the laboured breathing. Either his lungs were collapsing or they were being compressed by all his internal organs which normally reside in his abdomen suddenly and traumatically being relocated to his chest.

I left him with the vet for x-rays and we went off to my mother-in-law's for a wee celebration of her husband's 87th birthday (he always wins at those "I remember when we didn't have colour TV!" type conversations. He can remember when they didn't even have radio. Shuts the rest of us up instantly.) We were then phoned with the bad news: it was indeed a ruptured diaphragm and full-on surgery was required. So to cut a long story short, a few hours and several hundred pounds later, Bellus had been opened up and re-arranged in his proper form like a furry Rubik's Cube and sent off to a 24 hour clinic for post-op care and observation.

We picked him up this afternoon, expecting a wan, long-suffering, slightly pathetic cat. Instead he is almost unbelievably perky. He has a very odd haircut indeed as various parts of him had to be shaved for incisions, drips, anaesthetics and so on but he is pretty much himself otherwise. We have him quarantined in the dining room with his favourite blanket, a litter tray (oh the luxury!) and food that Zyra can't steal when our backs are turned. We need to take him back to the vet for a check up tomorrow but he is looking pretty good considering all he has been through in the past 36 hours or so. Better than we are, to be honest. We are kicking ourselves for not having insured the cats in the first place (Hey Isabelle, want to compare cat versus guinea pig vet fees?) and feeling slightly guilty at feeling short-changed by how not-ill he looks!

We are relieved to still have him with us, nervous about how or whether we can stop him doing the same thing again and wondering whether you have to declare previous near-death experiences on pet insurance proposal forms.

Please send gin.


  1. Oh dear, I sympathise. We didn't have Cassie insured when she ate a slug pellet in someone's garden and needed Very Expensive emergency treatment. Both furry friends are insured now.

    Hope your invalid continues to do well.

    We missed you at the book club...

  2. I had a cat that leapt out of our barn loft when we first were married and tore her knee ligaments. The Vet could fix her, but we had to build a cage for a 6 week rehab. She was not allowed to jump so it was a mere 10 inches high. She hated it and cried a lot, but we healed the darn girl.
    Had her for another 10 years too! And she never leapt like that again. Of course we sold the farm three years later and bought a one story house.
    Can sympathize with the current Vet bills. Anneliese's still birth was extremely expensive. I am still paying it off!

  3. Oh poor Bellus! I'm so glad that he's recovering now. My kitties have always been indoor ones, so I can't offer any hair-raising experiences of my own for comparison.

    In other related news, the Evil Ninja Assassin Cat aka Max, has acquired a henchkitten, provided the vet gives him/her a clean bill of health on Wednesday -- I finally caught the feral kitten that's been hanging around. Am now thinking about insurance for both Max and the little one.

  4. Oh, there's nothing like a vet's bill to demonstrate how much we love our pets. I do think a photo of the terrible haircut would compensate for his expensive perkiness. Cat shame, oh yes, bring it on.

  5. Glad he's getting better - and yes, you do have to declare them (premiums went from £7 a month to £27 a month with our kamikaze cat who used to play chicken with cars)