Wednesday 22 March 2023

Cat scratches can be dangerous

- and now I have you wondering what I have been up to?

No, this is an actual cat scratch I am talking about. Someone I know phoned me yesterday. She wanted to let me know that she will not be at a meeting on Saturday and would also be missing an event on Sunday.

"I just spent a week in hospital and I still can't drive," she told me. Earlier than that she had been trying to get one of her two cats in to the cat carrier to go to the vet for his annual jab. He scratched and bit.

This does not surprise me. I have yet to meet a cat who willingly walks into a cat carrier when asked to do so or even when tempted by a treat. Cats are smart. They know there is something less pleasant at the other end.

Our last two cats were less of a problem. One of them refused to go into the cat basket at all but put a lead on and ask him to get in the car and he would happily sit on a lap and look out the window while the short trip to the vet was underway. When we arrived he knew where we were and, as long as he was being safely carried, he would go in and behave. This same cat was the one who held what appeared to be actual conversations with the vet. The vet would say something and the cat would respond with a sound.  No, not all cats would do this for him. 

The other cat preferred to sit in a cardboard box - still with a lead on and either my mother or myself holding the lead tightly. You don't want cats loose in a car.  Like his mate though this cat detested the cat carrier but was willing to do as required if allowed to view the world from the box. 

The person who phoned me could do neither of these things. I doubt she would get a lead on her cats because they have not been trained to accept that. She would need someone to go with her. Someone should go with her anyway even if the cat is in a carrier. Instead she has to ask someone else to take the carrier into the surgery. I know she loves her cats and does her best to care for them but it is almost a physical impossibility for her to do what needs to be done.

And now, a cat scratch or bite became infected. She left it for a day or two thinking it was not serious but her hand swelled to an alarming proportion, it throbbed. She went to the doctor. The doctor called the ambulance service and she was carted off to hospital for a week. 

As I listened to all this I wondered yet again how long this woman is going to be able to go on living alone - even with help coming in and out. She uses the cats as one of the excuses not to move. The reality is that she is not coping anyway. It is why I get the regular phone calls with the litany of what has gone wrong. She still does not have a mobile phone - well, a working one. I gave her a spare one. It was the cheap and simple one the Senior Cat first had. It is still in working order but it needs a sim card and a few dollars on it for emergencies and cries for help.  There really isn't much more I can do to help. She lives too far away and, to be brutally honest, I am not sure more help is what she needs. She needs to move into smaller accommodation where help is at hand.

I think of all this because I know I am going to need to do the "sensible" thing too one day. Will I be "sensible"? Will I make the right decisions? I hope so.

I doubt this person will. It will be an emergency that causes a change in her situation. Her bachelor BIL will be left to deal with things. He went to feed the cats while she was in hospital.

The cat still has not had his annual jab. 

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