Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Fluffy Update

Tuesday I mentioned that Fluffy the cat was sick. She had something wrong with her left, front paw. It didn’t look good at all. She had licked the paw so much that some of the hair on the back of her paw had been washed away. The skin of her paw looked like it had a hole in it. I was afraid something exotic was wrong. Maybe a compound fracture. Maybe she’d been bitten by a big spider and the venom was preventing the wound from healing. Maybe she was suffering some kind of systemic attack from a cat variant of necrotizing fasciitis bacteria. Turned out the answer wasn’t exotic at all. But the problem does have a tiny literary tie in, so I’m going to post about it.

We went to the animal hospital right after I put up Tuesday’s post. The vet took a look at Fluffy’s paw and found the problem right away.

Fluffy is a Hemmingway cat. She is polydactyl. She’s got big feet and more toes than a normal cat.

That’s the literary tie in.

Anyway, Fluffy is a Hemmingway cat with extra toes. A nail on one of her extra left, front toes had somehow grown very long and very curled. Somehow that toe had gotten twisted and the nail had pierced right through Fluffy’s paw. The tip of the nail is what had made it look kind of like a compound fracture.

So the vet unbent that toe and trimmed the nail. Then he trimmed all the rest of her claws. Then he cleaned and disinfected the gash on Fluffy’s paw.

Now Fluffy just has to heal. I give her antibiotics twice a day.

And she has to hobble around with a big green and white bandage on her left, front paw. She looks kind of silly hopping around, but she is being very good about not chewing on the bandage. I haven’t caught her gnawing on the bandage or tape even once.

Which is good because if she had torn off the bandage she not only would have had to get re-bandaged, but then she would have had to wear one of those really silly looking funnel-like neck collars.

So far so good.

I’ve noticed that when I’m in the house Fluffy spends most of her time lying in her cat toy. Sometimes I pick her up, comb her and put her down in the kitchen by her food. Then she eats and goes right back to her cat toy. She looks pretty funny walking/hopping along with the bandage on her paw.

I think that’s why she spends so much time just lying around: She doesn’t want to look funny.

Because I’ve also noticed that overnight when I’m sleeping or during the day when I’m out of the house, Fluffy seems to keep very busy—she uses the litter box, she gets water from the dish in the laundry room, she eats more of her food. She gets around okay when I’m not looking. She seems to be more comfortable getting around when I’m not there to smile at her hobbled gait.

It’s not like I laugh out loud at her . . .

Friday morning we’ll go back to the animal hospital and the vet will remove the bandage and check that Fluffy’s paw is healing okay. He said the gash in her paw wasn’t really too bad and he’s expecting to the find the healing well along. He doesn’t think there will be a need to re-bandage the paw Friday.

So soon things will be back to normal. Fluffy can get back to running around the house all day and I can stop trying to pretend she doesn’t look funny.

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