November 23, 2012
Pets could be our best friends, but …. Continued

A few weeks ago, we discussed some unfortunate incidents involving our dogs. Today, I want to examine a few cases involving cats.

We all know how cute and cuddly our pet cats can be, but if you have seen a cat in action while hunting, I am sure most of you would pause and wonder about the abrupt transformation from a cute, cuddly and furry pet to a well-oiled killing machine.{{more}}

The tell-tale sign that indicates that the cat is about to attack its prey is a slow calculated movement of the tip of the tail from side to side, the non-blinking gaze is fixed on the subject and in most cases the cat assumes a crouching posture. Then in a blur of a motion, she pounces. The paws move in my estimation almost at the speed of light, with a simultaneous bite that happens in a split second.

Most of us who have or had cats as family pets would attest to the fact that if you miss the drama of the hunt, you can rest assured that the cat would go through the trouble to take the prey to a place where you could see it, more often than not half dead, with a proud look on her face as if to say “look at what a great job I have done, aren’t you going to congratulate me?”

Reminds me of a peculiar case I saw some years ago. I was asked to see a cat that was suffering from a severe skin disorder at the Plantation House in Bequia; the then owner had the cat held by the scruff of the neck in the garden just outside of the hotel.

As soon as I approached her and the cat, with tranquilizer in hand to sedate the cat, which she had cautioned me beforehand was not a house cat, but quite feral, the reaction of the cat and subsequently that of the owner is to this day etched indelibly on my mind.

The cat, in a blur of a series of movements, converted her hand from the elbow down virtually into pulp, biting and clawing at will. So determined to have the animal seen to, the owner held onto the cat without flinching until I was able to give the injection. What heroism!

Have you ever tried giving a pill to a cat? Well, from my experience, some cats are little darlings; they take pills without much of a problem. But others!!!

The following is what happens when a cat does not want to take a pill.

1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm, as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on each side of the cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks, while holding pill in right hand. As the cat opens its mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat gently in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, pick up and throw away soggy pill.

4. Take new pill from packet, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse in from garden.

6. Kneel on the floor with cat wedged firmly between knees; hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into cat’s mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill out of packet. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep up shattered figurines and vases from floor and set on side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow into drinking straw.

9. Check label to make sure pill in not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take the taste away. Apply band aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbour’s shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door just enough so that head is showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with plastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for last tetanus shot. Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Do not try to retrieve cat from tree across road.

For further information, contact: Dr Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd.
Tel: 456 4981