I used to mock people who treated their pets like children and attached the same emotional attachment – or more – to Little FurFace than their own flesh and blood. Our sins, however, have a way of coming back to haunt us and now I have to admit I have become one of those pet owners.
Our home had been a pet free zone for all of my married life – give or take a hamster or two. Our lifestyle and hectic schedule was not conducive to proper animal care demanded of a responsible pet owner. All that changed two years when Theo came into our lives. Theo was a large adult cat with a history of behavioural problems and he needed a home. The chances of a cat with Theo’s history finding a new home was non existent and it broke my heart. My instinct told me that Theo was simply an unhappy cat and needed a quiet home without any other animals where he could be the centre of attention.
I wish I could remember the piece of magic I wove the night Husband agreed to let me bring home Theo ‘on a trial basis’. I acted on it promptly before he could change his mind and Theo came to live with us. Although Husband was rather frosty at first – having regretted his momentary lapse – Theo settled in without any issues.
My instincts had been correct and before long Theo had both Husband and I wrapped around his paw. He is a very affectionate and endearing furball with a bright intelligence. I am a total pushover and have spoiled this big boy shamelessly.
Which brings me now to today’s problem. Theo is an outdoor cat and as an alpha male, rules our quiet street with the pride of a lion on the Serengeti. He gets into scuffles with other cats and frequently bears the results of these encounters on his nose. This week Theo seems to have met his match in a bigger, badass cat … either that, or the other cat got in a lucky shot. Theo got bit on his paw. Before long, Theo was limping badly and the paw had started to swell. A trip to the vet was in order.
Antibiotics, an anti inflammatory and a painkiller later, Theo was sent home to recover for what should have been a day or two. Unfortunately I’m not having that kind of week. Theo’s paw stubbornly remained very swollen and he simply won’t / can’t walk on it. Today required another trip to the vet – this time for x-rays.
The good news is … there is no fracture, no evidence of any shards in the tissue or any pockets of infection. The swelling appears to be related to one particular toe joint where the vet thinks the bite might have actually penetrated the space between the bones of the joint. What that means for Theo is that it is very painful and will take longer to heal. It may be a week or two before we notice any improvement.
The bad news for me is that after months of preaching fiscal restraint to Husband, I have now invested, without hesitation, several hundred dollars in vet bills in a mongrel cat whose only pedigree is a cute face and loveable personality.
Theo and I will both need to be on our best behaviour for a while.