A cat in for surgery last week, not Magnus, you'd have to catch him first, no this was Muffy, one of the Dowagers, sporting a cyst on the top of her head which started life the size of a pin-head many years ago. By the time we decide to finally sort this it has moved into the much more expensive pea-to-plum sized pricing category at the vets.
The vet has checked it over in recent years, drained it, given me the needles and syringes so that I could drain it myself (my fault...'That looks easy,' I had said) and always very reluctant to operate because of her age, but it obviously wasn't going to stop growing and...
Well the cat reached 16...
and we kept thinking 'Any day now...'
and it was obvious that for now we have a cat showing all the signs of immortal life and really we had to deal with this because you now couldn't stroke the top of her head, we were having to clean it daily, plus it was blighting her classic and very lovely tortoiseshell straight line, but more than that we sensed she was miserable with it.
I didn't want to write that 'immortal life' bit for obvious reasons (and what will be now will be) but anyway, bless our lovely vet who did the deed the very next morning, having warned us that with Muffy's dicky ticker, and the post-anaesthetic renal-failure-in-cats thing, the surgery was high risk, and therefore not leaving us any time to change our minds, just get it over with.
Bookhound left her at the vets with strict instructions...
'She's stone deaf, please make sure she sees you coming before you pick her up or you will make her jump,'
He left out the bit about her being able to lip-read (which of course she can) honestly, what must they say when you go out of the door.
Interestingly we think Magnus is very aware of her deafness and looks out for Muffy. If she goes out on the lane he invariably goes too, as the hearing cat, just hangs around and is the early warning system for the rare cars or tractors that come along, and he has hovered nearby, mirroring the shaven and tonsured Dowager ever since the operation...
The Elizabethan collar stayed on for such a short time when we got her home that I didn't even find the camera, the poor thing so distressed we thought she would keel over from that rather than the surgery, and as we took it off the words of the veterinary nurse were ringing in our ears...'put on under anaesthetic...if you remove it...any subsequent trauma is YOUR responsibility...'
Bookhound and I then have a completely sleepless night expecting to wake up to a cat with half her head scratched away, and wondering how much the repair will cost, only to find she hadn't touched it and nor has she since.
So what is it that makes you go and buy tins of Sheba rather than Tesco's Own for a post-operative cat??
Just the special offer seven for £3, once they are gone they are gone and it's back to Tesco's Own.
Oh no it isn't...she won't eat anything else now.
And you just can't change the ways of an old cat can you.
'Keep her indoors for ten days,' said the very detailed post-surgery instructions...
So I stocked up on litter and nice new tray only to have it stared at with disdain as she sat by the front door at 10pm, as she does every single night. She doesn't go far these days, two minutes later she's in around the back door through the cat flap, having done a circuit and stopping to do what she must do (on the Tinker's garden) before hopping into her basket for the night and expecting the light to be switched off immediately.