Fenway Lives!

That cat. Thursday evening, I noticed that Fenway was asking like he was a very old cat when he came over to me. When I started petting him, I discovered why-- he had a hole in his skin on his back right leg about the size of a quarter where I could see the muscle (which actually didnt look too bad, but I was freaked out). It looked serious enough to me that we took him to get emergency surgery.

The vet said that it looked like he had been bitten by a rather large animal a few days earlier, but the wound would have been hard to see at the time since it was a puncture wound. But one side abscessed, and it burst, and that is what I noticed. She said it actually probably would have healed on its own in a few months, but I wouldn't want to risk that, so I'm glad we brought him in when we did.

When he got back from the vet, late at night, we set him up in T's studio since it was quiet and could be blocked off so Fenway would never have to hear or see his nemesis, Rambo (the indoor cat). He had food, water, litter, a bed, everything a cat would want.

Everything a cat would want except freedom, that is. Fenway was so freaked out about being in the house (he's been an outdoor cat for two years now), he clawed out of his head cone, and forced the screen out of the window while jumping out. This would not ordinarily be a cause for great alarm, except that T's studio is on the second story, above the driveway, with nothing to break the fall. No grass, no shrubs, no small roofline over the first floor, nothing. So this cat, just out of surgery, jumped 20-odd feet down onto gravel.

I discovered this the next morning when I went into the studio to clean his wounds. I saw the place in the driveway where he hit. I was encouraged by the fact that there was no blood there, and I didn't see the cat, so at least he was well enough to walk away.

I called and searched for him in his usual hiding spots, but there is so much plant growth around the fence line and elsewhere he could easily hide from me as long as he wanted. T and I spent a few minutes yelling at each other, but we both realized it was nobody's fault, really. Just a freaked out cat following his instincts. Fenway isn't a bright cat in the best of circumstances, so while we didn't expect him to leap from the upper floor window, neither were we overly surprised. Shocked and dismayed, yes, but it was a very "Fenway" response to stress.

We figured we might have to wait a day or two for him to come out of hiding, but I saw him first just six hours later. He came sauntering through the yard late afternoon. But he wouldn't let me near him. Later in the evening he let me pick him up and pet him. I didn't notice any swollen parts or any more cuts or anything, so the fall didn't seem to injure him. He would NOT let me clean his wounds with a warm compress, however. But they looked ok. He hadn't chewed any of his stitches or anything, and he even left the drainage tube in place. So we decided to not push the issue.

We're still attempting to give him the warm compress twice a day per the vet's instructions, but we are unwilling to traumatized him in order to succeed. T failed at his attempt this morning, I'll try tonight after sunset when it gets cooler.

Today, he's been hanging out in his usual spots near the house instead of hiding. We will just let him convalesce outdoors. The vet said we could keep him outdoors, it's just that there is a little more risk for him until he's fully healed. However, given the circumstances and recent events, I think the greater risk is making him crazy by trying to keep him in. He's happy and comfortable outside, so outside he will remain.