Territorial army

A shock this morning. Our junior cat, the black one, was pottering around at breakfast as usual. I barely noticed. Then he wandered off outside – and came back with his head covered in blood and pus. Yuck! and Ouch! The poor thing. My first thought was, how on earth did that happen? My second was, how am I going to get him in the cat carrier to go to the vets?

I sometimes watch other people’s animals, at the vets and around about in the street. They all seem to sit perfectly happily in their baskets or boxes or whatever other contraption their owners see fit to transport them in. Not so with ours. From the moment our senior cat clapped eyes on a pet carrier (in this case it was a sturdy cardboard box, as she was a weeny kitten at the time) she went bonkers and made a silent, but very potent, declaration, that she would never willingly set paw in one.

Of course we did manage to stuff her into the box, when we had to, though she behaved like a cartoon cat with all four limbs rigidly pointing in different directions, finished off with deadly sharp claws and a cross and bitey face. I thought things might be different with our junior boy, as he is a much more chilled type and generally has a sunny and outgoing view of life. But show him a cat carrier and he, too, freaks out.

picture borrowed from Twitter
picture borrowed from Twitter

Thank goodness Child 2 was here for the half term holiday and helped me get him in the carrier. In fact, she is a million times better at such things than me, and simply picked him up and stuffed him in. They definitely sense my nervousness and then it’s like a Keystone Cops chase when I’m on my own in a cat emergency.

The vet said the fight probably happened at the weekend, and the wound has been invisibly festering since then. I felt awful, but he stressed it would have been completely undetectable – until it burst. Yuck again! Poor wee cat. He has a large toothmark – yes, a toothmark – in the top of his head. The vet was quite impressed with it all. I did say I was surprised he was fighting, as he has been neutered. The vet said ‘it probably wasn’t his fault, he was just protecting his territory,’ and he gave him a sidelong admiring look. What is it about males and their territory? I wondered if we should keep him in, but the vet thought he’d get sad and his health would suffer in other ways.

Well, I am sad, very sad, at the thought of some evil neighbouring cat biting my poor baby in the head. I’m not sure what to do, short of putting up electric fences and patrolling the boundaries at night. My brother used to have an air rifle when we were children. But that’s probably not all that practical – and maybe not even legal? Anyone got any ideas?

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