(Cross-posted from my garden blog)
This is Mr. Licorice, sometimes known as Mr. Fangs and Claws:
He came to us as a half-grown abandoned kitten that wandered into a co-worker's garage. Out of all our feline herd, Licorice is the only one who goes outdoors on his own. Even though he's neutered, he acts like an intact tom: aggressive, territorial, foul tempered when he's indoors; aggressive, territorial, and happy to be petted and adored when he's outdoors. Prozac failed to curb his behavior, and while tempting, I can't keep him under sedation all the time. So we had him microchipped, put a reflective collar on him, cross our fingers and hope for the best, knowing that outdoor cats are exposed to all sorts of risks.
Well, Licorice must have run head-on into one of those risks, because Monday evening he came in with an open sore on his chest that on inspection looked like an abscess that had opened up. He seemed chipper enough and had a good appetite, but the next morning it was still open and oozing and had a foul odor, so I confined him to the sick kitty crate for observation and called the vet. Most likely he'd gotten into a fight with another cat, and since the wound was on his chest, he was not the one who backed down! Yeah, that's our Mr. Fangs and Claws.
Wednesday morning (after a dose of sedative so getting him in the kitty carrier wasn't quite as bad as wrestling a cactus) he went into the vet's office. By then he'd developed a fever and the wound was still draining. When the vet got him under anesthesia and got the abscess open, it was pretty bad. It had gone deep, the fluid inside was thick and smelly, and there was a patch of skin that had gone necrotic. If we'd tried to treat this at home, he wouldn't have lasted long.
So Licorice came home that evening and went straight back into the sick kitty crate. He was pretty agitated and loopy coming off the anesthetic, so I covered the crate with blankets, trying to calm him down. The next morning he was very quiet and subdued, probably hurting from the surgery. His appetite was good, though.
And this morning he's a little brighter and demanding to be let out of his crate (sorry, it's kind of a nasty view of the drains in his incision):
He's eating well and using the litter box, so recovery looks good, but he's not a happy kitty. Hates the plastic cone. Hates being confined. Hates it when the other cats come and stare at him.
Poor, sad kitty:
That was a $600 hit to our bank account, and we were already tapped out helping my mother-in-law buy heating fuel. I think we've got just enough left for groceries until payday, but we're going to have to be reeeeal careful.