While you’re making other plans. Or so the saying goes, along with some of its many variants, including one favored by a childhood friend. “You wanna make the gods laugh, tell them your plans.”
There’s certainly been some of that going around my house recently. Illnesses, all thankfully resolved, technical glitches (likewise) and then today’s special event–cutting the cat while attempting to trim her matted fur. Many of you have met Lucy, she’s my nearly 20-year-old cat (Thursday is her birthday), and she writes her own post on Fridays.
Like many older cats (and people), she has some health issues and is less agile than she once was. One of the results of this is that she is no longer able to perform the fastidious grooming that cats are known for. The result: mats in her fur, or “mattresses” as she prefers to call them. At any rate, Lucy gets mats. Periodically, I do some grooming for her, with a tool called the Furminator, which actually works pretty well. Some of the other mats I can pull out by hand, provoking a squawk of indignation and its over.
And then there’s the big mat back by her tail. If it was a mattress, it would be queen size. I’ve been working on it without much success, and its so large that it can’t be combed or pulled out. But, its been growing out, and there’s now close to half an inch of unmatted fur between her skin and the mat. Time to cut it out. Or so I thought.
Unfortunately when that is what I did this morning, Lucy yelped and arched just as I was closing the scissors. My bad. The mat is gone, along with a long thin piece of her skin. I am so sorry, Lucy. Well, shit. She yelped and went back to drinking her water. Okay, maybe.
Upon further review, not okay, she’s got old lady skin, it tears, so what looks like a thin cut gapes badly when she moves. Not bleeding much, that’s good. If it was me, I’d steri-strip it and call it good. On a fur covered cat, it doesn’t work. I tried. Well shit. Sorry again, Lucy.
I called the vets office when they opened at 8, the receptionist offered an appointment with her regular vet tomorrow when she’s back in the office. No, I don’t think that will work. I eventually speak with the vet who is working, explain the wound, etc and she has us bring her over at noon. Very kindly, she allows me to go back in the treatment area with Lucy (sometimes it does help to be a retired MD), and stay with her. Carefully they clean things, trim hair with a quiet clipper, clean some more, numb her up, and put in some staples.
As it turns out, they almost never do this on cats without sedating them. But Lucy’s old, she has some kidney and thyroid issues, and anesthesia might easily be too much for her. Lucy was a champ, made it through well, the vet and her staff were quite amazed at how well she did.
We are home now, Lucy is now campaigning for dinner after a long afternoon’s rest, and BA and I are recovering. BA delivered some flowers and a card as a thank you to the vet and staff for working with us and through lunchtime. It’s very much appreciated.
Lucy can have as many mats as she wants for the remainder of her days, and I won’t cut them out. I feel crappy that this happened, relieved that its going to be okay for Lucy, grateful for the good help from our vet, and I’m just fine to skip any repeats. I’ve had cats in my life most of my life–just added up to 86 cat years, and this is the first time I’ve directly caused harm. I guess that’s pretty good.
There were two Ragtag daily prompts today, Sitcom, posted by Lorna, and my “substitute” prompt of Flexibility. Some of the oddness of today could have made its way into a sitcom, and I’m very content to cede the starring roles to a different ensemble. And then there’s flexibility. Oh yeah, lets deal with what is and go from there.
I still hope that tomorrow goes more according to plan than today. Meanwhile, this evenings plan is for a bowl of soup, and a quiet evening. Family bed with books and a mending cat.