I keep my phone on silent at night, with only a few family numbers allowed through. So when I woke up on Sunday morning to find a slew of calls, and a text message, all from unrecognised numbers, I was a bit worried. The text read:
“Your cat just been splattered outside linnet. Unlucky pall tired ringing. Fancy a cat kebab”
Which was really rather upsetting, to put it mildly*. Other calls turned out to have been from the local 24-hour Sainsburys, and a vet, who had left a message to say that Lily had been hit by a car, and to call them. I did so, and was told that she’d broken her leg, and it looked quite nasty – a compound fracture – and we should go down to the surgery. This really isn’t what we wanted to wake up to, particularly as we both had hangovers, but we trundled down to Kingston Vet.
We went through the options, and were told that it was possible that they wouldn’t be able to fix the fracture, at which point she’d be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon. Which would cost thousands, mean months in recovery, and might not work. Or we could elect for the leg (a back one) to be amputated. But they wouldn’t know until they did x-rays, and they would call us. We went to see her, and she was as high as a pluth kite on painkillers, but still looked her vile self, bless her.
So we came home, and fretted. We put it on Facebook, and loads of people had comments, all supportive, about how well tripod cats did. The vet rang back and said the X-rays looked bad, and they recommended amputation; we said “yes”. What else could we do? Not going to put her through months of pain. They rang back a bit later, and said it was the right decision – the bone was in lots of little pieces. There was a lot of muscle damage, apparently, and they were also concerned about infection, so industrial quantities of antibiotics were called for.
On Sunday morning, they phoned again. They were a little concerned that she hadn’t used her litter tray, but they thought she might be trying to work out her balance, and they weren’t going to let her go home until she’d had a pee. Other than that, she was doing well.
This morning, they phoned to say that she was making an excellent recovery, that they were very pleased with her, and would we like to take her home?! So we are collecting her this evening, which is splendid news. A friend has lent us a dog cage (the one we used for the Siamese rescue cat), in case she needs to be kept quiet, but knowing Lily, she’ll be hurtling around pretty soon.
On Saturday afternoon, the bill had reached £1,060. God knows what it is now, or quite how we’re going to afford it, but afford it we must.
I hold the mad woman up the road at least partially responsible for this. By trying to adopt Lily, she had widened her roaming range to include Princes Avenue, a road with masses of bars, and which heaves with traffic and people until the early hours of the morning. Her normal boundary was about 50 yards from there, and she would not go past there – it was like a force field. Perhaps I could ask her for some of the bill … Apparently she’s moving out today, and it can’t come a moment too soon.
*I was incandescent, actually, but I texted back “thanks for letting me know”. And then thought to myself that he’d been partying up on Prinny Ave, that he was probably pissed, and that he still took the time to get the number off her collar and contact me. Which was very kind.