In the middle of the night there arose such a cat-fight clatter, I sprang to the basement to see what was the matter. By the time I got there the fight was over, and I could only find Benchley. Another animal---I assumed at the time it was our other cat Mouse---ran out from under Elizabeth's bed as I tried to lure Benchley out. When Benchley DID come out, he was limping, and he hid under the downstairs loveseat. He's never hidden like that in the whole month we've had him. And the loudness and wildness of the cat fight was surprising, since in the month he's been here the most he and Mouse have exchanged was some hissing and a paw-to-head whap. And when I went upstairs five or ten minutes later, Mouse was in her usual spot under the computer, with the alert look cats get when they hear other cats fighting.
In short, WTH happened here? One possibility is that a neighborhood cat came in through our cat door, fought with Benchley, and then took off. Another possibility is that Mouse finally did fight with him, and that he was injured either by her (she was a fierce fighter in her street-cat youth, though it's been a good 14 years since then and she's more into the wrist-slapping at this point) or by something that happened as they were fighting---like if he fell or whacked into something, or if something fell on him. Another possibility is that he was injured outside, then came in and had a fight with Mouse, or....?
Well, it's too bad he can't talk, is what I'm saying, because now he's at the vet's office and he was too feisty to allow his leg to be checked while I was there so he had to stay and they have to sedate him, and so here we are at over $100 before the exam has even started ($60 illness/injury visit, $25 staying-there fee, $20 sedative). But the good news is that it looks like he's probably just fine, and in fact the likely situation is that he's being a total MAN about his injury and he just has a little boo-boo but didn't want to walk on it. But after my experience with my cat Oliver (I thought he was being a big baby about a small boo-boo and it turned out his leg was completely crushed), I'm hesitant to try to figure things out myself.
The vet thinks it's most likely an animal bite, in which case Benchley gets a rabies booster, a shot of antibiotics, and a prescription for painkillers. But once he's sedated she might find that he needs an x-ray, and there could be a fracture, and then let's not think about how much that will cost. Let's instead reflect on what a sweet cat Benchley is (at least when no one is trying to inspect his owies), and how many years he has left to work this off in white-nose-spot kisses.
Update! Even after two kinds of sedative, the cat was still feisty---too feisty for them to shave his little leggy so they could have a look at the owie. They gave him a rabies shot and a shot of antibiotic, and they gave us a supply of painkillers to give him for a few days, and if he's not much better in 24 hours we're to bring him back. But the vet thinks he's probably fine: just being all MAN about his little owie. Cost for Mr. Baby to get some fuss made over him: $200.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...