Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Pet Peeves

Hello, dear reader!

A house, I’ve heard it said, is not a home without a pet, and I think there’s a kernel of truth in that. It’s a sentiment that rings true for myself and Tina, my ever-astounding wonder-wife, in any case.

Not that I’m saying Tina is in some way my pet, you understand. No, I wouldn’t go that far. I mean, yes, she is a loyal companion, able to offer me unwavering support and seemingly endless love (of which this might be a test), but she doesn’t have a cold, wet nose (the last time I checked), and I’ve not once seen her wag her tail.

No, the pets I’m talking about are the one dog and three cats that share our happy home. And for this week’s blog, I’d like to focus, in particular, on two out of the four.

All In The Name
This is where my sainted mother, Teresa Rankin (please note, no H), should probably stop reading, assuming she started, because the two animals in question are both cats, a species she holds in the greatest distaste and dislike. Their names are Sunny, and Giles.

We’ll start with Sunny.

We’ve had our concerns over the health of Sunny for a little while now. She’s never been what you might call a big girl, but of late she seemed to be piling on a few pounds while also showing some less than subtle signs of digestive distress. Our first thought was pregnancy, especially as, while we had our new roof fitted, the un-neutered Sunny had taken advantage of the scaffolding to make a daring escape, but time, and the lack of kittens, soon put that theory into doubt.

Thus, with a plethora of new and worrying theories as to the weight gain and the loose stools, we took the plunge and arranged an appointment with the vets.

Thankfully, Sunny is insured, although (we later found out) only for accidents. The bill, then, for the range of imagined conditions could have been a large one. Not that we would ever put money before the health of our faithful companions, you understand, but it certainly informed some of our later decisions.

Women's Troubles
Also thankfully, the vet gave Sunny what was effectively a clean bill of health. Her weight, she said, was not unusually weighty, and her stomach wasn’t bloated or painful. Her womb, however, was potentially swollen, with the best course of treatment being mid-line surgery to remove Sunny’s entire reproductive system. At least I think that’s right. I am, after all, just an ignorant man.

So, this Monday saw us pack Sunny in her cat-carrier and pop her in the car, and listen to her complain and pant as we made the twenty minute journey to Dewsbury for her operation. I’m glad to inform you that all went well, and she was soon back in the bosom of her family, a little woozy from the anaesthetic, but generally quite well. Then came the small matter of the cone of doom.

Yes, to stop her licking or nibbling at her stitches, Sunny had to have an Elizabethan collar fitted. This was something the vet left to us. Something that initiated a scene reminiscent of The Keystone Cops. or possibly Dumb and Dumber. Suffice it to say that a cat recovering from general anaesthetic shouldn’t be able to outwit two fully-grown human adults. She did though, and how!

In the end, I think it took us twenty minutes, the shutting off of all but one of the house’s rooms and the gentle application of one of my crutches to persuade Sunny to vacate her perch atop the kitchen and hold her steady enough to fit the blasted thing. A traumatic twenty minutes for all involved, but one made just about worth it by the drunken-sailor-in-reverse-gear-taking three-attempts-to-leave-the-room, type antics that followed.

On the return to the vets for her first post-op check up we were told there was an alternative to the Elizabethan Collar, but although the materials were purchased we have, to date, not dared experiment with it.

Anyone want to buy a baby-grow?

So that was Sunny. The next cat in question was Giles, her son.

Water Works?
He’d been acting weird ever since his mum returned home, possibly spooked by her impression of an inebriated poise-lamp, but over the last twenty-four hours we’d noticed he seemed to be having trouble weeing. This continued through the night, making for a disturbed and broken period of rest for all involved, and, this morning, culminated in us witnessing several unsuccessful trips to the litter tray, a lot of licking and some loud and increasingly desperate mewling.

So back to the vets we went.

Not the original vets, however, No, with the information gleaned from our experience with Sunny we instead contacted the PDSA (The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) who, thanks to me claiming certain benefits, saw him free of charge. The appointment was swift, the examination thorough, and the verdict that it was all stress related. Probably as a result of his mother’s ordeal and rather odd behaviour and scent. Some medication, and the excitement of the trip over, well, that seems to have eased things enormously.

So, all in all, there’s been a bit of excitement in the Rankin household of late. Thankfully, that’s all there’s been. A few scratches from recalcitrant cats who really don’t want to go in that cat-carrier thank you so very much, a little worry, a little expense, but that’s it. There’s no bad news. No tears. No loss. Just a rather pathetic cat who looks like she’s come off worse in a fight with a loud-hailer and her much relieved if somewhat drugged up son.

Pets’ eh? Who’d have’em?

Until next time.


Hey, folks! If you would care to take a look at some of my more creative writing, then the links below will transport you to the magical worlds of a few anthologies my short (and in two cases, very short) stories have been included in. Feel free to check ’em out!

New Tales Of Old: Volume 2

Death Ship



The Musketeers Vs Cthulhu

No comments:

Post a Comment