Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cat Tales

My cat Snaps has stitches in his ear, on the backside. No, he didn’t tear it, nor was he in a fight with our other cat, Panzi. I noticed there was a very small crusty patch on his left ear about a year ago. We have a home-visit vet and he said not to worry about it. But over the next few months, it got bigger. And sometimes the crusty top would come off and it would bleed. When it got to be about the diameter of a pencil eraser, I called our vet, and he came over to take a look. He said it probably should come off. He didn’t think it was cancer – but he didn’t know for sure.

Since we were less than a month away from their annual physical and shots, he combined his visit and found that other than the spot, he was in good health. Panzi was fine.

I dug our old cat carrier out of the storage room and brought it into the apartment to get Snaps used to it. He thought it was swell, a kind of cozy cave, and was in and out of it happily the rest of the day. Panzi, who is our senior cat, could evidently remember being put in the carrier and going off on an unpleasant trip to the vet. She wouldn’t go near it, and in fact became hard to find, just in case we meant it for her.

I put Snaps into it for a visit to the clinic for surgery. He complained only mildly on the car trip over there, unlike every other cat I’ve ever owned. All my other cats cried loudly, incessantly, when taken anywhere by car. When I moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Minneapolis, one of my two cats actually gave herself traumatic laryngitis, and was reduced to a rasping whisper by the time we arrived.

Snaps continued to behave with surprising calm – he has always been a laid back creature. Anyway, the vet took another look at him and said he’d go right into surgery and could come home late in the afternoon.

He was good as gold on the trip home, despite the vet having found a much smaller spot on his other ear, which he closed with a special kind of glue. The vet said he was going to freeze the material he took off the ears and would hold it to see if the spots come back. If they do, he will send this material to a special clinic to have it tested to see if it’s cancer. The reason he’s not doing it now is because it costs something over a hundred dollars for the test.

Meanwhile Snaps has taken all this with aplomb. He had not pawed at the healing ears. We are keeping the cat carrier in the apartment because he has to go back to have the stitches removed in a few more days – and he still likes to go in there and play now and again. We have our fingers crossed in hopes that whatever it was on his ears, it is gone never to return.

Does anyone else have a cat who takes every happening calmly?


Julie said...

Charlie and Max, brothers who passed on within months of each other a few years ago, moved with me from Indiana to Nevada and back again. On the trip out, Charlie had a few things to say each morning as we started out, but on the trip back, more than a year later, they both looked around a bit when I put the big dog crate containing both of them in the car, seemed to say, "Okay, here we are again," and with a phlegmatic sigh, settled down to sleep through the ride.
I have to say that the vast majority of cats I've had were not nearly so relaxed. Chloe makes noises that don't seem possible for a housecat. She sounds like a large, angry, jungle predator. Fred had to be peeled off the inside of the carrier so I could carry him into the vet's office. Bernice drooled copiously in the car, and Daisy had hysterical shedding.
I often marvel at those cats you see riding calmly in a car, not even in a carrier. I wonder if that's a trainable skill.

Betty Hechtman said...

When I first got married, we drove from Chicago to L.A. with a siamese cat. It was the first cat I'd ever had and had no idea what to expect.

He was very good the whole ride, except he seemed to always use his cat box just when we got on the highway.

Now, the cats I have now are totally different. They always sound hysterical when I take them to the vet.

I hope all goes well with your cat's ears.

Carol S said...

Cats who travel nicely, never! Mine have always howled in the car. When moving from OKC to Houston several years ago, the cat howled the whole time plus I had the mantle clock (packed in a box) with me that would chime its bell with every bump on the highway. I was frazzled after 12 hours of driving and never wound that chime again.

Monica Ferris said...

What delightful stories. We used to go on a special camping vacation every year - anyone who has read my "Murder at the War" knows just how special - and one of the families there had a cat on a leash who seemed perfectly content, which just amazed me.

In my experience, most cats not confined in a car either try to steer or glue themselves to the windows, screaming for rescue at passing cars. I suppose if they are taken for rides starting in kittenhood, they behave themselves.

Julie said...

Roscoe, back before we even owned a cat carrier, during a move from Indianapolis to Madison, WI, crawled under the clutch pedal, causing me to have to pull over on the freeway to extricate him, and subsequently tried to leap out the window at every toll booth on the tri-state around Chicago. Fun times.
I do hope Snaps is doing well.

Mary Barton said...

We have had several that were calm in the car and my Mars who was liked to ride wrapped around my neck so he could see. He actually enjoyed car rides and then would be happy to be on my shoulders on his harness and leash when we got where we were going (at 20 pounds he was sometimes quite a weight). A good friend has a cat that travels in the car with him constantly and appears to enjoy it.
Mary in Arizona

Monica Ferris said...

The great stories continue! It's surprising how many people once experiencing cat hysterics on a trip will nevertheless try it again. But I guess if the alternative is leaving the cat behind . . .