On the 8th April, my little fuzzball turned two years old and what shenanigans she has managed to get up to in such a short period of time. If you have been following the great adventures of my cat, Clove, you will know that she has some very unique personality traits. From chasing deer to bringing me all manner of litter from the streets, she will no doubt brighten your day as much as she does mine. However, apparently she had to out do herself. New year, New Clove. And what did she do, might you ask? She severed her toe.
The Saturday before her birthday has been like any other day in resent weeks. Having finished a night shift, I fed Clove (who was running around, hyper as usual) before heading to bed to pass out for several hours. I woke up at around half past one, sleepily wandered to the bathroom with Clove not too far behind. I hadn’t really paid much attention to her until she knocked over several canvas’ in my studio. Thinking it was odd, I went to investigate and noticed that despite her big, bright eyes and normal Clove demeanor, she was limping and not weight-bearing on her front left paw. Picking her up, I noticed something dangling from her claw:
“Great, She’s declawed herself”
I went downstairs, Hop-a-long tagging along behind me, to find several bloody paw prints scattered around the place. I felt awful at this point, whatever she had done, she managed to get herself home, up the stairs and snuggled back on my bed without waking me up or crying for help. I thought it was best to phone the vets and see what their thoughts were and as expected, they asked us to come in.
After a few hours wait, the vet looked Clove all over and concluded that she hadn’t declawed herself, rather partially severed her toe and would need to have an operation to either save or remove the rest. I wasn’t quite prepared for that response and the thought of my little buddy going through something that traumatic made me a bit emotional. The plan was to dose her up on painkillers and antibiotic’s, then bring her in first thing the following morning for her operation.
That night, Clove was spaced out. If I wanted to know what it would be like to give my cat weed, I now know the answer. Her eyes seemed permanently dilated and any movement made her jumpy and hyper. It was like having my kitten back. At one point she must have been hallucinating because she was just swiping the air, as if to catch something.
The next day was brutal. Having to go against our normal routine and refuse to feed Clove or even let her have a drink, felt so cruel and unnatural. I just wished I could explain to her what was going on. We left for the vets. Torrential rain set the mood as we walked, Clove’s cries only adding to the situation. Once we arrived, we were ushered straight in. Only getting a few seconds to wish her luck and kiss goodbye.
The next few hours were some of the longest of my life and with it being only Clove and I in the house, the sudden silence was almost deafening. Despite the fact that I work in operating theatres and know how surgeries work, I have very rarely been on the other side, waiting for news. I tried to find anything to occupy my brain. Besides worrying about my partner in crime, I was also wondering what my friends were up to. We had planned to go and play Airsoft, a plan months in the making but with Clove practicing her surgical techniques, I sadly had to bail at the last-minute.
After a few hours, the vets called and said that the surgery had been successful. Sadly the toe couldn’t be saved but at least that’s one less claw for me to clip.
Once reunited and back home, Clove needed lots of cuddles. Sporting her new cone of shame, she kept walking into every piece of furniture, every wall and every step she could find. I tried to keep it on her for as long as possible but it soon became clear that eating and drinking was going to be an impossible task. Clove is only 3.4kg and barely classes as an adult in size. An adult buster collar was just too big for her.
Two weeks on and Clove is back to her usual self. The fur has started to grow back and makes the gap on her foot, less noticeable. The stitches should dissolve in a months time and luckily, Clove has shown little interest in them. Given the size of the vet bill, I would not be impressed if she reopened her wound.
We don’t know what caused her injury but I have a sneaky suspicion that the barbed wire wall across the street, has something to do with it. I only hope she learns her lesson.
Clove: My little amputee.