Saturday, 8 November 2014

Horrible times...

A few weeks ago we noticed that Fat Freddy was getting reckless with his road crossing. We've had the boys just under three years and up until recently they've stayed on our side of the road.
Unfortunately, Freddy made his way over there one day, found the field opposite was full of mice and never looked back.
Or indeed, left and right.



The lure of the mice clearly outweighed the fear he once had for the road. A few weeks ago I started following him when he was let out. Every time, he headed for the road and three times I saw cars having to slow for him. I decided he was an idiot and must be kept in.

My husband wasn't in agreement.  I kept him in for a week and then we had the boys annual check at the vets. I mentioned our disagreement, thinking she would side with me, having to fix up squashed cats all day. She didn't. I said he wouldn't last more than a few weeks.
At half term, Connie and I were away and Jason couldn't take the crying at the door. (He's the pushover parent.)



Freddles was allowed out, not during rush hour and not in the dark. We came home, Jason went away and I continued letting him out. I really wasn't happy about it but felt a bit outvoted. And bless him, he seemed so overjoyed when he was allowed out.

On Wednesday I got a knock on the door from a neighbour saying he thought my cat had been hit by a car. I saw him stagger out of the road and collapse. I couldn't find my keys and we have the kind of door that locks you out so I had a complete meltdown. Eventually I got the neighbour to stand in the doorway, so I could retrieve Freddy.

He howled as I picked him up and was bleeding from the mouth. All the cars had stopped on the road and two of the drivers came to see how he was. A lady walked up the path quite gingerly and I asked if she was the one who had hit him. She said she was and I apologised profusely for his stupidity. I don't think she was expecting that.

Everyone was very kind and offered to take me to the vets. I declined as I thought I'd manage. I laid Freddy in his bed, gave myself a mental slap round the face and made arrangements for my daughter to be collected, for the vet to be expecting us and I got the cat basket.

Freddy had staggered a few feet into the dining room and lay there. Despite his apparent injuries he did put up a little fight as I got him into his basket. I took this as a good sign.

Once at the vets, it looked very much like he'd broken three legs and his jaw. The vet managed to x ray his chest that day, as this is the most important area but not his limbs as he wouldn't be positioned.

I left him and had time to collect Connie after all, but I was very upset and she burst into tears when I told her. I also had to tell Jason who was in Berlin.



The next day Freddy was anaesthetised and had his limbs, pelvis and skull x-rayed. His lower jaw was the only thing broken so he had that wired up. (It doesn't stop him eating!) We couldn't believe that nothing else was broken and thanked our lucky stars. He was due to come home the next day.

But then the vet noticed he still wasn't walking properly and did some more x-rays just to see if they'd missed anything. No breaks. We brought him home late yesterday and he went a bit beserk. On getting out of his carrier he ran/staggered up the stairs, tried to run down and so almost tumbled. He's wearing a lampshade collar to stop him scratching his wired jaw so he crashes into every doorframe and obstacle. His mobility is like that of a rabbit, a lollopy gait for a few feet and then he has to lie down. His back legs splay and his front legs cross over and trip him up. His head bobs up and down when he walks. Just like a rabbit.

This must be because of the head injury he received. By all accounts he ran into the wheel of the car head first. Head injuries are an unknown quantity. We hope he'll improve as time goes on. He's continent and purrs but is clearly in some pain. He laid down for a rest in his litter tray. Sometimes he can jump onto a chair, sometimes he misses and needs help.



I wish I'd trusted my gut and kept him in. I wish we'd renewed his insurance.

I'm grateful  for the following:
The car didn't go over him.
He didn't cause a car crash.
My neighbour alerted me immediately and I could reach him.

My biggest fear was him causing a crash, finding him squashed and stiff as a board or just having him missing, suspecting the worst but not really knowing.



Those of you who have cats might understand what this feels like. You might think I've been irresponsible. Stupid even. You can tell me. Trust me, I can't feel much worse. 

Deciding to keep a pet indoors is not an easy decision to make. He might remain brain damaged so that decision might be made for us now. 

We're back at the vets next week. Until then Freddy has painkillers, peace and quiet and lots of sleep. When he tries to scratch his head I gently rub the area inside his lampshade. He loves that.



Bad Bobby is completely freaked out by him. He won't go near him. Won't be on the same floor as him. He slept on my bed last night with one eye on the bedroom door in case Freddy came in. He's terrified. I think he wants to run away from home. That doesn't help matters. I hope he'll come around, after all Freddy will be in his lampshade for four weeks.
And a bit of brotherly love might just help the healing process.




42 comments:

  1. Oh Emma what a terrible thing to happen. I can only think to keep everything crossed that Freddy will make a recovery - the fact that he still wants to get around is a good sign. And many hugs for you - it sounds like you dealt with the whole situation extremely bravely. Lets hope that the next few days will see him improve. Much love x Jane

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    1. Thank you Jane. He asked to go out today which is the first time. That's a good sign. (No chance of going out though!) x

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  2. I noticed Vix mention that you were having a horrible time of it, but I had no idea it was so bad. But then again, could've been so much worse.
    I've been there when we had 2 cats at different times when I was a kid. You'd think an acre and a half of land including a bluebell wood would be enough for any cat, but no, the little buggers wanted more! Saw the first one dead in the hedgerow from the back of the taxi to school; they let me phone home and my wonderful teacher took me home in the lunchbreak. The second one got knocked down in front of us whilst we were waiting for my lift to the school Christmas disco. Heard me and mum talking and just came dashing across the road to see us. He was ok, that time but ultimately the road got him. We lived near Gatwick nut it was still pretty much countryside and still we lost them before they hit 2 years old. It happens and it's horrible. I shed tears over your post and hope FF gets better soon. The fact he loves his tickles I'd take a good sign that he is aware and the fact that he is continent. My two are 19 and 15 and I dread the day even tho' they've had a good innings and hopefully they've enjoyed their lives! But I tell myself I have to remember the good bits, but I know I am going to be distraught. Daft, but they are my world and I love 'em to bits.
    Sorry, this is such a tome, but I wish you the best and lots of hugs!!
    Zxx

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    1. You're absolutely right, it could have been so much worse.
      It's funny, I want to move to the middle of nowhere to keep the boys safe, but it sounds like there is no safety even in the middle of nowhere!
      Sorry about your cats, it all sounds very traumatic. x

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  3. PS. Sometimes I not quite jump into the chair and miss too!
    Zxx

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  4. Well I certainly don't think you've been irresponsible or stupid. Cats are free spirits and like to roam, they are independent creatures and if they've been allowed this freedom it's very difficult to then stop access to their adventures. Having said that I know how I'd be feeling if it were Prudy, it was bad enough a couple of months back when she had a urinary infection.
    Hope Fat Freddy soon makes a complete recovery and in the meantime I know he'll be spoiled rotten. That really is a most beautiful photo of him at the top. xx

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    1. Thanks Fiona. Ah, my husband took that one. He's the pro. x

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  5. Oh Em I'm so sorry and I'll be thinking of you . We bought Sascha when we lived in the city and he was not allowed out at all and when we moved up to the country he cried all day to go out and I agonized for months and he finally was allowed out in Feb this year at 4 years old. Our biggest fear is snakes in the orchard and the twice he hasn't come home I have stayed up all night . If I had known we were moving here I would never have bought him.
    Love Meg xx

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    1. It's such a tough call. I don't think I'd get another cat, but the house would feel so empty without any... x

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  6. So sorry. Most cats won't be shut in; they mostly need to be brought up to it. with mine, I feel it's better they have a happy life with risks than be safe but bored out of their minds (although I never let mine out between dusk and dawn). My parents' dog was paralysed in a car accident; she began to recover after a few days and would lurch drunkenly about, falling over when she got there. After a month, the vet said she would not get better and should be put to sleep. I suggested getting a second opinion and that vet said it was too soon to be sure. She did get almost entirely better although later developed a liver condition that may have been set off by the accident. Because of this she was put to sleep at 11 years old. But she recovered and lived a happy life for several more years. Only time will tell and you can only do your best. xx

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    1. I'm so glad you waited for your cat to recover. It's nice to hear a happy ending. I think, even if Freddy stayed like this we'd not put him down. He slept next to my pillow all night and seemed very happy with that. At the moment he's lying down in a darkened room as his pain relief is wearing off but I'm sure that will improve over time. x

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  7. Oh, how horrible. I hope he gets well soon, and that Bad Bobby comes around too.

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    1. Thanks Scarlet. BB managed to eat half his breakfast in the same room as FF this morning which is great. When Freddy lurched over to steal Bobbys food, Bobby ran away. I think we'll get there... x

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  8. Hi, I'm Alice.

    I'm so so sorry to hear about all you've been going through with Freddy. It's such a sad thing, and I do know how you feel.

    Almost exactly the same thing happened to my wonderful Buddy. He had been with me for nine years, and we had been through a lot together. When he was a kitten I lived in a flat. It wasn't ideal, but I had taken him from a friend who couldn't find a home for him. And oh how I loved him. He was the soppiest thing. He didn't mind not going out at all - he didn't know any different.

    Fast-forward several years, I moved into a cottage with a beautiful back garden, but a road at the front. At first I didn't let him out, thinking he had never had it so he wouldn't miss it. But one day the kitchen window was left open and he jumped into the garden. It was as though he had become the cat he always should have been. He was different: bold and free. From that day on he was a true outside, adventurer cat. I was anxious about him as he'd never been outside before, but I comforted myself with the thought that he wouldn't be easily able to get to the main road as our cottage is in the middle of a row of four. I was wrong. Bud was spotted quite often, fighting the cats from the opposite side of the road. Bud was pure white and huge, so there was no mistaking it was him. I started to have trouble getting him in at night, and got so worried about him that I would stay up for as long as it took to see him safe inside before I went to bed. This meant some late nights, with work the next day. He stopped coming in at all, so I decided I couldn't cope with the worry any more and resolved to get him in very early in the evening. He was very unhappy. Eventually we decided he must be free, because restricting him at his most favourite time of day was unfair. Cats are, after all, independent creatures who love to roam. We decided to take a chance and let him be free. Unfortunately, not long after that, he was run over and killed right outside our house. We arrived home one day from an evening out (I was fourteen weeks pregnant at the time) to find a note pinned to our door. I didn't even have to read it to know what had happened. I howled so loudly the neighbours came out (it was around midnight). I was heartbroken and thought at the time it could all have been avoided if only he had been kept indoors. Thing is, I see so clearly now that it wouldn't have been fair to keep him in when it made him unhappy. In fact, it didn't take me long to realise that he died running across the road to do what he loved best: fight with the neighbours! And to deny him all his feline pleasures would have been cruel I think. I have a dog now, and would never ever have another cat as I couldn't put myself through the worry again. But now I'm making having a cat sound like a right downer and I don't mean to. It's just I know how worrying it can be.

    Well, this is by far the longest comment I have ever left on any blog! I wish Freddy a rapid and full recovery. And with such a loving family around him he has the best chance.

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    1. Thanks Alice, it's nice that other people understand. Non cat people don't get it! I'm sorry about Buddy. A dog must be so much less stress. I've also gone through the staying out all night thing. It must be a taste of what it'll be like when Connie is a teenager!
      Thank you. x

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  9. Hugs, I hope he gets better. I did write a long post but think it's lost.

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  10. Oh Emma, I'm so sorry. I adore my cats as you do and can't bear it when they are hurt. for the record, I think you absolutely did the right thing letting him go out and I fully understand how you are feeling now. We have to balance our fears for their safety with their happiness and it's a hard decision to make. I wish with all my heart that your fears hadn't been realised and that he hadn't been hurt and I hope that in time he makes a full recovery xxx

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I'm very protective naturally. If someone is mean to Connie at school I think, ''Right, home schooling!'' But you can't wrap them up in cotton wool can you? x

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  11. Prayers and thoughts for you all. I adore those boys so much. Anaesthetic & sedatives can take days to get out of the system, it's like a poison and clears different bodies in different ways, and has weird drugged up effects. Cats have 9 lives. xx

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    1. Thanks Teri. It's good to hear that about the drugs. Poor chap has had quite a lot! Perhaps it's the after effects he's feeling, to add to his headache.
      8 lives left then! x

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  12. A terrible ordeal for both Freddy and your family. It is heartbreaking when our pets are hurt and we do all we can to help them, but sometimes you just feel helpless because they cannot tell you where it hurts. Freddy is an adorable furbaby, and with all of your care he should be up and about and walking like his old self in no time. My dog suffered a head injury, and walked funny too - turns out he also detached a retina (according to an ophthalmologist). Hopefully this is not the case with your Freddy, but just thought I would mention it in case his behavior seems odd.

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    1. Thanks Lala, it's really good to know that about the retina. We'll certainly look into that if he's still crashing into things when his collar is off. x

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  13. My cat is an indoor cat, I live near (yards) an A road, have lost too many cats through cars. I was thinking about an accident where I was knocked down, it took a while to recover ( head injury), and was very wobbly... also I know many people who keep cats indoor or have an enclosure (I'm a cat sitter), so have a look for enclosures....lots of ideas through Google, and with your skills you could make one. I love your cats, so really hope Fat Freddy is well soon and his darling brother can accept him again....I am sure it is the smell from the vets, that's freaking him out...x

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    1. Thanks Denise, I'd never really thought of that! There are some great designs and a great company I've come accross. http://www.protectapuss.co.uk/cat-fences/ so we will definitely look into that for Freddy in the future. Brilliant suggestion! x

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  14. Oh Emma Kate, I am so sorry to hear this. You know how I love my cats, and the thought of them being injured in this way is heartbreaking, so I completely understand how you feel. Our cats have always gone outdoors and I can't imagine trying to keep them in, so although your instinct was to do that, I think it would have been really hard in practice.
    Sending much love, and a scratch on the head for FF, and hoping that he makes a good recovery. xxxx

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  15. Oh no, really sorry to hear about Freddy. I thought I was about to read the worst, so I'm glad he's still with you because I was thinking about Bobby without him, but it seems he is traumatised by his brother's condition which makes it doubly sad. I hope FF goes on to make a full recovery. Some cats unfortunately have no road sense as I know from past experience. Sending lots of love xxx

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  16. Oh no :( Poor Freddy! There's no way I'd admonish you- I can't imagine how torn you must've felt about letting him out in the first place. I really hope he fully recovers and Bobby stops feeling so frightened by his cone-bedecked appearance asap. xxx

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    1. Thanks Katie. I think Bobby is coming around bit by bit. He won't go near him but he doesn't run away quite so fast. He thinks Freddy is robo cat. x

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  17. I could think of little else after you posted Freddie's horrible accident on Facebook. Our cats are a huge part of our lives and I know how devastating it is when they are ill. As others have already mentioned, cats are free spirits and that's why we love them. You and Jason did nothing wrong.
    Cats are remarkably resilient. One of our family cats got run over, lost a leg and broke his jaw and loved another 15 years happy and content. Freddie will get better. xxxx

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  18. Aw, he's doing so much better already Vix. I need to do an update post. x

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  19. There's nothing worse than feeling responsible for injuries your pet receives, Emma. Our oldest daughter is going through the same thing with their cats. Her husband decided they should spend time outdoors, and now our daughter has to listen to them cry to go outside all day long (she works from home). I hope your kitty is feeling better and won't even want to go outside when he's fully recovered!

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    1. He wants to go outside NOW with his collar on and everything! He's such a nincompoop. It's very hard when you're not in agreement with your husband over the pets! x

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  20. Oh your poor cat. I really hope he makes a full recovery soon and you shouldn't blame yourself at all. x

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  21. Aww poor Freddy. I know exactly how you feel I hate it when my cats go out. I hope he's better soon. Love Donna xxx

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