You’ve no real idea of how much of a time a cat’s tail is up until it’s down.
You might guess, oh 50% or 60% of the time but actually, unless it’s a Manx or sleeping, a cat’s tail is up close on 100% of the time.
It’s raised like a flagstaff, or swishing aggressively, or held high and hooked at the tip – the Happy Cat Hook.
Even when sleeping, Fat Lily’s tail followed the curve of her bottom and tucked in nicely somewhere by her paws…… but no longer. The tail takes an unexpected right turn and lies flat and straight as though arranged by a funeral director.
Somehow, somewhere she has been involved in a feline fracas and some big bully has bitten her tail nastily. I hadn’t noticed the bite but fortunately, the vet is experienced in cats and tails of dodgy do’s and has given her a shot of antibiotics. He expects me to follow on with a course of tablets.
The tail may recover, or not. We’ll have to wait and see but it makes be incredibly sad.
But it’s the weirdest thing when your cat is injured. Like many other misleading or downright mistaken things people have told me about cats, the general impression you get is that cats, with their 9 lives, are virtually indestructible.
When the reality of their frailty becomes obvious, it’s a bit of a shock, although Fat Lily has never been what I’d call a very *capable* cat. Yes she retrieves like a dog and greets me with a “Ay-oh” – that’s ‘hello’ in Fat Lily-speak but she’s never been very agile or nimble as cats are supposed to be.
Making her flat-footed way through life, runty in stature with all those extra toe4s, she seems less able to cope than most cats and her co-ordination is not the best.
She regards the prospect of a leap to the windowsill for several seconds in a calculating way before attempting it. She might make it but occasionally she fails and walks away as if she wasn’t much interested in the first place.
In the summer she got into the habit of climbing a bush and walking up a roof to enter the house through the open study window but descending was a different prospect. She’d mew piteously from the roof as though she was stuck. My gentle encouragement “For God’s sake, get down, Lily!” ended with her leaping into the bush but losing her footing and ending up in a small furry heap in the ivy.
While she’ll hiss if big brother Leo tries to swipe her with a lazy paw, she’s not aggressive either and has been bullied by the black and white cat from across the road. He comes on to our terrace and lies in wait for her out of sight to one side of our security cat flap. It means she looks anxiously through the flap for some time before she makes a hasty exit, streaking for the cover of the euonymous.
I reckon, without any evidence whatsoever, that it was him who finally waylaid poor Fat Lily and sunk his horrid teeth into her, disabling her fluffy, expressive tail.
The tail is still droopy and following her in a trailing-along type way but today I thought she might have a little life back in the very tip of it.
I have to start giving her the tablets on Tuesday. I’ll need a bit of luck and any cat-tablet-dosing tips are very welcome!
Tuesday Update: She doesn’t like fat juicy prawns..not does she like the aply named “Lily’s Dinner” which is a very small amount of pate-like catfood. She thought it was highly suspicious that I wanted to give her dinner in the living room with the door shut. So did Leo, who was mewing on the other side of the door. So after wasting one ground-up tablet, I popped one into her mouth and stroked her throat until I thought it might be gone – and it was!
I don’t think I’ll get away with that a second time, but you never know… 😉
Weds Update: Tail is up again! Hurrah! Lily didn’t want to open her mouth for the tablet this time but then she did, tablet in and she gulped! A miracle, I tell ye! 🙂