A few weeks ago, we adopted a three legged cat named Satchi. He instantly made himself at home and became a much loved member of the family. The kids adore him – though he is not diplomatic enough to sleep in their bedrooms – and love looking after him, playing with him, and snuggling him. We are so glad he joined our family.
Last week, I was arrived home and spotted a large lump of fluff on the stairs. It was grey fluff so I knew it must have come from Satchi. I know cat’s shed hair but it seemed like a lot to have come out in one clump. I thought that was weird. Then I picked it up and was even more weirded out. The lump of fur contained a hard core. In fact, it looked like the tip of his tail. What the heck? How could that be? Satchi was dozing on the sofa, one of his favourite spots, so I stalked like a ninja over to the sofa and gently picked up his fluffy tail. Peeling back the fur to expose the end of the tail, I saw that my instinct was correct: the tip of his tail was not on his tail; it was in my hand.
I was freaked out.
I had to go and collect my kids from school so I quickly messaged a friend of mine who happens to be a vet. Happily she was online and got back to me very quickly and in her calm and level-headed way asked me some questions and provided some answers that reassured me. Yes, the tip of his tail was gone but it probably was not a surgical emergency if I could not see bone, which I couldn’t. She felt the biggest risk was from infection but since Satchi was the only pet in the household and was an indoor cat that risk was reduced.
In addition to being freaked out, I felt guilty. I had nothing to feel guilty about but I am one of those people who feel guilt over things I have no control over, feel guilty over nothing at all. I felt guilt that I had not prevented my cat’s tail from dropping off even though I had not the first clue what might have caused it to happen.
I phoned a vet and made an appointment. An over the phone triage interview persuaded the vet and me that there was no emergency (Satchi did not seem bothered by the tail situation at all, there was no bleeding, and no exposed bone) so he was scheduled in for an appointment the following week. I started to feel better: if a vet who could charge me an emergency fee did not view it as an emergency then likely all was going to be well.
That appointment was today. Satchi was exceedingly well behaved at the clinic and was very friendly and sweet towards everyone, little charmer that he is. And wouldn’t you know it, everything was tickety boo. In all likelihood, the tail was damaged in whatever mishap led to the badly broken leg that had to be amputated. The tip had just turned into a (somewhat dramatic) scab that had fallen off. Clean bill of health. No concerns. Just a three legged cat now missing the tip of his tail.
Fingers crossed that no more parts of my cat come off. My nerves can’t take it.