A Tale of the Tail of a Three-Legged Cat

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.

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36 thoughts on “A Tale of the Tail of a Three-Legged Cat

  1. I’m glad it was nothing bad. I have heard of this happening before and it apparently isn’t uncommon – but what a thing to come upon! This cat is a survivor, I think you can be sure of that.

    He looks totally content in your pictures. Your family is good for him, I think.

  2. Oh dear, I laughed! Does that make me a bad person? The thought of your poor boy dropping more bits and you freaking out was just too much! I would have freaked out too I have to admit! But, all things considered it was a most fortunate outcome in that no bone was exposed or infection incurred – and Satchi remains living happily ever after in his loving new home!

  3. Laura, I, too, would have gone crazy. I love my feline who is purring next to me more than words can tell–but if she was dropping bits? I’d be at the vet so fast, your head would spin! Kudos to you for taking in a gentle soul in need of a home:)

    • Thanks. He came with that name from the rescue shelter. I guess someone there must have named him. No idea what it means or refers to. Clearly we could have changed it but it felt like traumatizing the poor moggy again to change his name on top of everything else. If we had chosen the cat named Kanye, however, that name would have been changed.

      • I thought you might have named him after the Saatchi gallery here in London. He seems sweet. I would love a cat-my neighbour’s cat comes in all the time-walks straight in when I’ve got the back door open. I probably shouldn’t feed her but I do. I hope she is not one of those advanced talking cats. Oh a cat named ‘Kanye’ would most definitely need a name change. Oh yes.

      • Funnily enough, I added the T to the spelling because of the art gallery. It just felt right. The double A was a stretch too far.

        My previous cat had a cat door so he would go mooching around neighbours, especially elderly ones, to get extra food. It took us ages to figure out why he was overweight.

      • oh how funny. Yes, that double A was a bit much. What a clever cat. I heard a similar tale-the owners why wondering why the dog was gaining weight. They both worked during the day and the dog was home with the African grey parrot. So they set up a camera. What they saw amazed them. The parrot used to open the bag of treats on the counter and drop them into the dogs mouth. This happened like 5 times a day. Really funny. Guess they had to move the treats to safer location. 😉

  4. That is so scary! I would say that I feel your pain, but I doubt that I can actually imagine the shock of this. Satchi is however most beautiful, such a darling, despite his injuries! I’m glad that there’s a happy ending. ❤

    • I’m not someone who freaks out easily. A couple of months ago one of my sons split his head open and the staircase looked like a crime scene. Blood everywhere. Blood pumping from his head. I was calm and cool throughout. And that was my human kid. However, I found part of Satchi’s tail and I totally wigged out. I’m hoping he doesn’t put me through any further dramas.

      • Maybe you’re already immune to all kinds of children injuries, as you have boys… Also, children are perhaps easier to handle than cats – at least a child can tell you what happened and where it hurts. I assume your son survived fine 🙂

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