I need to report myself to the PDSA

29 October, 2016

So our cat, Bugsy, got traumatised and ran away in late June.  It was my fault, I’d taken him down the road-to-hell-paved-with-good-intentions, to the local vets, he never recovered.  Once he got out of there (alive), he legged it and was only ever heard of behind distant neighbourhood fences, from that time on.   Fact of the matter is, I was as traumatised as him.  First of all, watching him held down having his fur shaved off for a blood test, then paying for the bloody, blood test.  Bad so far, but not a patch on what was to come, I was given an estimated price for his ongoing treatment; a thyroid  operation at roughly £20,000 ( in used dollar bills).  Then a price for his rotting teeth to be replaced with a gleaming Hollywood smile (£1m in uncut Angolan diamonds).  I left the building trying to evaluate exactly how much that cat meant to me and to the kids.  I called my Mother, the animal lover,  about it hoping she’d transfer her £2 a month donation from the PDSA into my own “save the cat” fund.  Unfortunately, last time she’d petted him she’d got bitten by fleas, so her kindly suggestion was that I have him put down – for his own good.

Image result for evil vet black cat

By the time we returned from our summer holiday, in September, there had been only one sighting of him in 9 weeks,  I told the kids he must have found another family and totally dumped us.  Asha was particularly sad, as Bugsy used to sleep with him most nights.  My Mother asked if we’d seen him since we got back, and kindly advised me that cats often disappear when they’re going to die, apparently, they prefer to die alone, she said. I tried to remind her that he had a thyroid problem, not pancreatic cancer, but she wasn’t having any of it.  Then she helpfully reminisced on all of the pets she’d had since childhood (she’s 90), and told me how each one had died.

Uncharacteristically, I was hanging laundry on the line on a sunny mid-September day, when I looked over to the long grass at the side of the garden.  Technically this long grass was once the lawn, but Sami can skim valuable seconds off his grass cutting chore by letting the edges encroach.  I could see a black thing curled up in the sun in the long grass.  I left the laundry and went over to it, a skinny, visibly ill cat woke up and tried to stand on very shaky legs.   I almost didn’t recognise it as Bugsy it was so weak, not the killer beast I’d been so used to.  I hadn’t realised rotting teeth mean death to a cat that can’t eat the lickle creatures it catches.  But he had the tell-tale shaved fur patch that the vet had inflicted on him.  So the kids and I began to feed him small amounts, round the clock. Friends helped out when I was at work.  My mother advised me if he didn’t gain weight, then I should have him put down, for his own sake.  But he fought for life and each day I saw an improvement in him.  My son Asha, was upset that the cat didn’t know him anymore, wouldn’t come in the house or let him play with him.  I tried to explain that starvation affects the brain and he would need to rebuild his trust with us, after all, how could Bugsy understand why we’d abandoned him.  I felt like taking him to an animal shelter, he was one of those typical abused animals, who will come for food, but is totally wary of humans.  Except, this abused animal was mine and I’d abused him.  I found myself at the back door in the middle of the night, worrying about him and calling him in, but he never came to me.  After a couple of weeks, he’d made good progress physically and he was coming right up to the back door to be fed, although he still wouldn’t come in.

One morning, I opened the door to feed him and found another cat, sitting on the step next to him.  They were exactly the same in colouring, equally black, but the new one was a huge, confident, regal cat.  I looked from one to the other, again and again.  Then, to that enormous Prince of Cats, with the shiny fur, staring up at me as if he owned the house, I said,  “Where the fucking hell have you been, Bugsy?”

One Response to “I need to report myself to the PDSA”

  1. clairepotterhome Says:

    Ha ha ha ha! Brilliant!

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