Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Our oldest cat Tom, 10, went missing last Wednesday. We scoured the neighbour-
hood,talked to people, checked the SPCA, local noticeboards etc. All to no avail. We figured either he was hurt - or worse - and unable to get home or had had enough of the invasion of kittens and gone on the hunt for a more suitable home for a slightly grumpy middle-aged man. The kids were very upset.

Yesterday I was painting when I heard a bit of a clatter and thump. I opened my studio door - closed against kittens who scratch canvas (expensive lesson) and there was Tom, just through the catflap, hobbling and dragging a dreadfully damaged back leg. He was emaciated, dehydrated, dirty and bleeding. Foolishly I rushed to offer him food and water not thinking that the vet may have to administer anaesthetic. Fortunately he did not want either.

He was losing a fair bit of blood but it appeared to be from a wound just re-opened. He was, suffice to say, distressed but quite malleable as I laid him in his cage on a towel and left immediately for the vets. He cried a fair bit during the short journey but at least I knew he was still in the land of the living.

Tom stayed with the vet who rang me later to say his injury was consistent with being run over or possibly trapped somehow. Much of the tissue above and below his paw had to be removed but he was hopeful that the limb could be saved. There were no fractures. They wanted to keep him in because of his condition. He was being fed a drip with antibiotics etc. His weight was down one and a half kilos - roughly a third of his normal body weight.

I rang today to be told he may come home. His temperature and appetite are good but he will need to be kept inside, away from the rest of the menagerie and return regularly for dressings under anaesthetic.

Of course we will never know what happened to him between when he received his injury, which the vet said was 5 or 6 days old, and when he eventually found his way home yesterday. But his tenacity and survival instincts are very strong. And although you cannot put a financial value on a pet, when I pay the bill today he will become an even more valuable cat. Can't wait to get him home and spoil him rotten.


Pompuss said...

Tell Tom I'm petitioning the Great Cat for a speedy and successful recovery. Clearly he's a strong minded and determined, if somewhat grumpy, old gent and I know what a pain kittens can be.

Cactus Kate said...


KG said...

Gecko and I know exactly how you feel Lindsay, having been there recently with Alfie.
It's great that he's home and you'll have the pleasure of his company long after the shock of the vets bill has worn off. :)
Get well Tom.

brian_smaller said...

Lindsay - we moved several months ago into a rural area near Wanganui. One of our cats disappeared after about six weeks. Ten days later she showed up a lot skinnier but otherwise in good health. No matter how often we asked she refused to tell us where she had been.

Anonymous said...

Very happy for your whole family Lindsay. After working in a job for 25 years dealing with people all day (your husband will know what I mean), I definitely prefer cats (or any animal for that matter) to people.
Murray M

Opinionated Mummy said...

Poor Tom. But what a relief for cat and family! I hope he has a speedy and non-eventful recovery. Try not to think about the vet's bill - like doctor and dentist bills, it's a time to gulp, take a deep breath, and be philosophical.