Well, this past 24 hours has been a joyous rollercoaster ride [/sarcasm].
Rogue is doing good, and better now that we replaced the rigid plastic cone with a soft-sided cone. He can sleep like he’s used to and doesn’t run into walls like he was doing there, or clotheslining himself going under chairs.
I frankly don’t know how they expect an animal to “keep a cone on at all times” and drink water and eat food with this rigid numbers. He’s crashed now, and I don’t think he slept most of the night because he couldn’t get comfortable. He was awake every time I checked in on him. The regular vet completely understood my predicament and made a fee-free appointment to fit him with one of these soft-sided numbers he is wearing right now.
Additionally, she took time to check on my mental health and tell me this was an accident and not to be too hard on myself for being a participant in the injury. I learned something new in our discussion — that this is actually a fairly common injury (degloving is the correct term, I understand) and actually part of a cat’s normal natural defenses if they were out in the wild. It allows them to escape predator’s in a way similar to how some lizards lose their tails completely. Not that it will grow back like the lizards, but being hairless on your tail is better than being dinner, I guess.
Anyway, she spent as much or more time making me feel less like a monster and more like an owner who had a bit of bad luck. It doesn’t make me feel happy, but at least I’m not contemplating giving Rogue a knife and a chance to cut off a finger in an “eye for an eye” moment of justice.
Ten to fourteen days. And now he is monster-kitty in all the other cat’s eyes because of the dreaded CONE OF DOOM!
I don’t recall if I mentioned we have six cats in this house. Rogue is one of our rescue kitties, the second cat of six after we decided the first cat needed company to improve his attitude. Rogue didn’t help much in that respect, because from the moment he set foot in the house, he was in charge (even at 10 weeks old). The first, Smudge, took umbrage at the very idea and they have had their little alpha battles, which are generally short-lived and end up with Rogue being the victor.
We had a short-loved Himalayan named Stillwater. Also an adult rescue. But I think that beautiful boy was given up for rescue because the owner didn’t want the medical bills associated with him. He had severe kidney issues that showed up one day about nine weeks into him being part of our family. The vet said that these were chronic issues and that there was no way that the previous owner didn’t know anything about them. And I was then looking at $3000 in vet bills that might help him live for a week, or for a few months (plus dietary and lab testing on top of it). But his prognosis was less than three months and that he’d probably be constantly in pain (like he was when I brought him in). While I hated to do it, I decided it was kindest to euthanize the poor guy. All my daughters still miss him terribly, and this was four years ago or so. If I’m honest, I showed a tough face to the kiddos when we let him go, but bawled my head off in private that night. He was a fucking great cat from day one. Rogue is special in his own way, but Stillwater was one badass motherfucker. He didn’t put up with Smudge’s lame attempts at bullying, protected Rogue from ambushes and was one of the best damn cuddlers around. He was declawed by the previous owner, but he was gentle except when he had to sit on Smudge to let him know he wouldn’t be bullied. Not the best cat I ever owned, but up there (for the record, Buddha was the best, a black and white shorthair who just “got it”, no rules or discipline needed).
We ended up getting the next one, Banshee, also as a rescue. Everyone was upset about Stillwater and we ended up trying to replace him with a new kitten (someone to be a challenge for Rogue’s energy). She’s my special needs girl. Until we found out that she was allergic to seafood, we thought something was terribly wrong with her shortly after we got her. She had all sorts of barfing and butt issues and, no matter what we did, it didn’t seem to stop. One day, I ran out of the soft canned fish I was feeding the cats and resorted to a couple of days of their dry kibble. Suddenly, the poop all over the place was gone. Well, not entirely, but it was greatly diminished. I decided to start feeding her some dry food with minimum ingredients and pre-/probiotics and she’s been fine since, nary a loose stool in sight. To test my solution, I gave her some canned fish and it was like something Mr. Creosote might have done out of his butt. She’s the reason Rogue is missing a tail part — he was trying to show her just how alpha he was when I was feeding her and failed to finish coming out of the room while I was shutting the door. Banshee’s name is amazingly apt, though we didn’t know it when we gave it to her. She more yowls than meows and it can be quite frightening if you didn’t know that’s how she tries to get your attention. I like her, but she’s pure alley-cat, for whatever reason. She was born into rescue, but she’s got street smarts. She’s not very cuddly because she’s usually all daggers.
If you lost count, that’s three cats still in the house and alive.
Then came baby Goblin. A princess. A graceless klutz. She gives cats a bad name she is so klutzy. My wife had been wanting a calico and had a “everyone has a cat but me” episode. I lurked on adoption sites until I stumbled on Goblin to get her a cat of her own. Goblin, if you haven’t noticed the trend in names, is our third “fantasy-trope” named cat. Smudge was never anyone but my eldest’s cat and, at the time Smudge was a better name than Jack, after a boy she had a crush on in preschool. But then they put me in charge and I decided RPG tropes, all the way. Hence: Rogue, Banshee, Goblin…
Goblin really is a princess. She’s particular about who touches her, she dainty, she’s a clean-freak… and she couldn’t jump off a dining room chair to the floor without biffing it. She still can’t most days. I can’t really say much about her otherwise because she is largely the most maintenance-free cat we have. She bumps your skins and weaves between your legs. Mostly, she is quiet and sits off by herself. Her biggest flaw (aside from being a klutz) is that she likes to ninja counter surf. And, half the time, you don’t know she’s doing it until you hear the graceless THUMP as she lands on the floor (she can jump up pretty well, its the lateral and downward jumps that elude her).
We’d sworn off any more cats. Four was enough. More than enough.
No. Because my dream-cat became available through a breeder at a price I didn’t barf at. Well, mostly didn’t barf at.
Enter Wraith, a tuxedo/smoke Maine Coon.
I had wanted a Maine Coon for years. In fact, the reason Rogue got purchased is because the Humane Society had advertised some Maine Coon kittens and we missed out by a hair on getting one. Rogue got my attention (I mean, really…. he reached out to me through the kennel and meowed). I wanted a mini-tiger and Maine Coons can get up to 30 lbs.
A breeder had a male Maine Coon kitten. I’d have-heartedly looked for a Maine Coon up to this point, but could only find females (try being the only intact male in a house and you’ll understand the need for male companionship) from breeders with some major quirks they required you to sign a contract on. All female. Wraith wasn’t taken. And no weird contracts. I snatch him up.
Wraith was a shy guy, hiding in the basement most of the time. Lately, though, he’s bee a cuddle monster. None of us can figure it out, but if I don’t give him at least 10 minutes of cuddles each morning he won’t let me get work done. He’s recently taken to sitting in laps, which is unusual for him. Oh, and he weights around 18 pounds and is still growing.
Somebody in the house got jealous and wanted a Maine Coon too, so our final entry was a must-buy. Her name is Fennekin (after Pokemon). She’s actually bigger than Wraith, who is six months her senior.
Oh yes… She is the lioness/queen of the house. She sits on the misbehaving ones. Really. SHe weighs more than Wraith (about 20 lbs) and she follows me around trilling like a little puppy.
Whew. I need to get on with my day.