The cat exploded the other day.
This isn’t an everyday occurrence, not even around here, where we specialize in new and creative ways to turn a moderately clean house into a reality television show except without the cameras or paychecks. You have to sit up and take notice when something unexpected like that happens.
It was probably her fault.
Mithra does not like other cats. She seems to regard their existence as a personal challenge and their presence as an invitation to rumble. This is especially true for Midgie, whom we got to try to keep Mithra from losing what marbles she had left after Tria disappeared last year. Apparently it was too late, but it was a valiant effort and I think we deserve some credit at least.
Midgie so wants to be friends, too – she follows Mithra around, nudging her and generally being the kid who always gets picked last for sports tailing around after the popular guy until finally the popular guy just turns and hisses at her.
What? I was never the popular guy. For all I know they hiss, is all I’m saying.
But Midgie is not much of an opponent for Mithra. The big time rumbles happen outside, where despite legislation in Our Little Town requiring cats to be leashed when outdoors – an inspiring example of what can happen when good intentions and legislative power meet cold hard reality head on – there is never a shortage of spare cats roaming around. They come in a bewildering variety of shapes and colors and to date none have been arrested as the scofflaws they so clearly are.
We figure one of them must have bitten her. There is no doubt she deserved it.
One of the girls noticed that Mithra’s ear was all gooey last week, and sure enough there were two puncture wounds that had individually abscessed. Fortunately Kim has veterinary experience, so she got some warm washcloths and some antibiotic ointment and cleaned her up. We figured that would be that.
Then Mithra started looking like the right half of Louis Armstrong.
Cats are not known for their trumpet skills. Therefore there should have been no call to develop balloon-like cheeks. Stands to reason. And even if there had been such a call, it should have been symmetrical and not just the right one. A bit of investigation confirmed the other puncture wounds, and Kim repeated her ministrations. After that we decided to keep an eye on things and see what happened. Mithra bunked in with us that night as usual.
The next morning Kim threw the blankets into the wash.
Mithra’s feeling much better now, playing and hissing at Midgie like old times. She’s even resumed her vulture's perch on top of the kitchen trashcan where she keeps an eye on everything and demands tribute from those who dare throw things away. She still looks gooey under her layers of ointment, but that’s another matter for another time.