Late last night, I walked into the bathroom to find Ana (the angelic evil cat of many blog pictures) sprawled on the tiles. That was nothing unusual – the odd thing was that she didn’t look up as I walked in.
I crouched down and patted her. Instead of her usual coy, “Prrm?” she mewed in pain. I’ve heard her meow in annoyance, fear, and distress (faked or otherwise) – but never like that.
CJ spotted blood matting her fur. We tried to figure out where it was coming from, but her long fur got in the way. She baulked at the attention and tried to get up and slip past us. One of her paws gave way, and she was too low to the ground to move quickly. We grabbed her as gently as possible and continued trying to see where the blood was coming from, or if any of her bones were broken. The slighest touch on her left side made her yelp.
She smelled bad. Something had terrified her so much she’d lost the contents of her bowels. Her weakened paw was stained black on top.
CJ stayed with her while I fetched the phone directory. I searched for the closest 24-hour vet while Ana lay back down with her head against the tiles. The tip of her tail twitched against the floor.
At last we found a vet and called them, describing Ana’s condition as well as we could. They told us to come over.
Normally when I take Ana somewhere I put her in a pillow case (she’s calmer when she’s contained, and can’t see how fast we’re moving). We didn’t want to move her unnecessarily, so I picked her up and CJ draped a towel over her, which I then tucked around her as well as I could.
As we took her outside and into the car, she struggled violently, burrowing through the towel, writhing, and kicking against me with her back legs. She poked her head out of the towel and that seemed to calm her, so I let her remain like that.
Recognising that I was too panicked to navigate, CJ memorised the route. As we drove, Ana barely moved. She didn’t meow at all. She looked at nothing in eerie silence, hanging her head like a rag doll.
When we went into the vet she alternated between blank staring, and burying her nose into the crook of my elbow for comfort. Every time someone spoke or a door opened or closed, she jumped in fear.
At last the vet called us in. We put Ana on the floor and watched as she crept to hide under the vet’s chair. Her walk was low and lopsided, and she wasn’t interested in her surroundings at all.
The vet shaved some of her tail and found a large gash. She checked for a broken leg, broken ribs, and internal injuries – and everything was limited to bruises and sprains. All four of Ana’s paws had raggedly broken claws, which is an indication of an instinct to grip the road when an animal is hit by a car.
The vet gave us some antibiotics, and an opiate for her pain – warning it “Might make her a little funny.”
We came home $400 lighter. Drugs are expensive, kids – especially at night.
Ana is jumpy (and sleepy) but otherwise okay. These photos are from just now:
Oh, and the coy “Prrm?” is back.