He’s been gimpy for a while now. I mean, he turned 20 years old in April – in cat years, that’s equivalent to about 96 – and we long suspected that he had a touch of arthritis. When we bid him good morning today, though, he was moving around even more slowly and carefully than usual – and that could be accounted for by the heat – so I had a closer look.
I found a splot of blood on his right rear foot, and it occurred to me that maybe it should be looked at by a professional. We have a LOT of experience with catfight injuries, and I broke up a doozie between Toeses and Galaxy, the neighbor’s cat, earlier in the week. I suspected that Toeses had an infection, so we called the vet, parked Toeses in his carrier, and bundled him off to the doctors’ office.
When we got there, we were encouraged by both the techs and the doctors who commented on how generally healthy my old man is. He’s actually gained a little weight since they last saw him in February (he was 8.11 pounds then; he’s 8.14 today), his coat is healthy, his eyes are clear (though his ears are purely decorative at this point; poor baby is stone deaf), and he wasn’t running a temperature, which indicated that he did not, as I’d feared, have an infection. The doc wanted a closer look at his piggies, though, so she had us leave him with her so she could shave the foot and find out what was really going on. We were sent home with instructions to come back in a couple of hours to pick the little man up.
An hour later, though, Amy called from the office to tell us that the doctor discovered some more damage than she was anticipating, and that she was recommending removing a part of one of his toes. From what we can piece together, he injured himself in some sort of defensive maneuver and tore off his claw. The resulting injury was sufficient that removal of that knuckle was recommended.
We’ve already started calling him “Toes-less.” I don’t think he’s amused.
As of this writing, he’s resting (though I can’t speak to how “comfortably,” he doesn’t seem to be suffering too badly). We took his Cone of Shame off for a few hours tonight so he could eat and have a good nap; we’ll put it back on before we sequester him in the downstairs bathroom for the night.