Beorn and I stayed with Grandma with weekend so my father could have a weekend away with his wife. This meant we weren’t at home much all weekend and the cats were stuck inside. When we got home, exhausted from sleeping on someone else’s bed and being woken by strange dogs at 5 AM, we discovered that Big Orange Cat was acting strange. He had been feeling down for a week or so but we had assumed that is was digestive trouble from a hairball and would work itself out. A downward facing tail and complaining when we tried to touch his back end indicated something more serious.
Luckily, we live in a university town with an all night veterinary teaching hospital. We called after his wound started seeping something foul and they said bring him in. Mind you, late night vet care is not cheap, but it was fast and efficient.
It turns out he had been bitten three times on the tail. The bites had become infected, so the vets had to cut off the dead tissue and stitch up what was left. Sunday night they told us he could lose his tail, we would just have to wait and see.
Tonight I brought him back in for a checkup and they said it looked better than expected. I am grateful because a kitty without a tail is basically disabled and he was already running away when they bit him. He is a very large kitty, but not very brave. His mild temperament means he’s a good patient though, he takes his pills and tolerates warm compresses very well.