One criticism I have of many other blogs is that the authors always act as though everything is rainbows and rose-scented unicorn farts. So I’m going to hold myself accountable to the same standard, without letting everything dissolve into a pool of negativity and griping.
Plus, I feel really, really bad about this and I hope that by talking about it I might feel better. Maybe.
Oh and let me spoil the ending for you – everyone is ok. (I hate being left in suspense about real-life stuff)
Here’s what happened: Macbeth gets these spots of matted fur on the “ruff” around his neck (he is a lion afterall!), even though we brush him regularly. He can’t really reach that spot to groom himself, so occasionally a mat will crop up. Then Jeff or I will carefully tease it out of the intact hair until we can pull it free. Macbeth is a weird kitty with anxiety issues, who pulls out the fur on his tail anyway – so he’s got some kind of messed up/ridiculously high pain threshhold, so he actually *likes* it when we tease these mats out.
Last night ’round 11:30 I was lying in bed reading, with Macbeth motorboat purring on my chest and Othello drooling on my head. I was scritching around Macbeth’s neck and found the mother of all mats; one that must have somehow escaped my attention before (either that or he grew it overnight). So I started trying to work it out, but it wasn’t budging. I could see that his fur was matted all the way down to the skin.
I got my teensy little scissors from my grooming kit and started cutting the mat out. I got about halfway through it, and Macbeth startled. And I accidentally cut him 😦
I was *so scared*. I looked at the area and (might want to skip this paragraph if you’re squeamish) I could see that I’d cut a little zigzag shape into his skin, right under his right ear – the tip of my scissors must have caught up a fold of skin on both sides, and snipped into it. It was really hard to tell what I was looking at, at first – for one horrible second I thought I’d actually cut *off* a nickel-sized patch of skin, but upon further examination I’d just cut down to the skin (it looked like when you skin your knee); the only place the skin was actually broken was that zigzag area. There was hardly any blood at all – the area was a bit red, but when I blotted a tissue to it I only came away with a little bit of blood (“little bit” = “less than I get when I nick my leg shaving). Macbeth kept on purring and rolling around for loves the whole time I was messing with him – either he didn’t feel the cut, or he didn’t care.
So of course I called Jeff, ridiculously upset and mad at myself. I told him what I’d done, and how Macbeth seemed to be OK, but how the cut was rather worrying looking. He did some quick online research and told me to put Neosporin on the cut – since it’s under his ear, Macbeth can’t reach it to lick the medicine away. We decided to wait until morning and see if it still looked bad, before deciding to take him to the vet or not.
I checked on him again right before I left for work, and he’s been acting normally – eating, pooping, drinking, sniffing out the window, sleeping on the ottoman. All normal Macbeth-like behavior 😉 The cut still has a red edge of blood, but the skin itself isn’t red at all – nothing that would show any sign of infection. I’ll look at it again tonight, but I really think he’ll be OK – and I don’t think I need to rush him off to the vet, where they’d charge us $200, maybe put in one stitch just for good measure and tell us to keep the area Neosporin-ed.
So even though the physical harm is pretty minimal – and we were lucky that I didn’t cut anywhere that would bleed more, or hurt him more – I still feel like absolute shit. I feel lower than low. I feel like the worst kittymommy ever. I can’t believe I hurt my baby, when I was trying to help him – what kind of horrible person am I?
I didn’t sleep a wink last night for worrying about him; I kept getting up and checking on him, whether he was on the bed, out in the living room, or stalking a “dead” “mouse” on the kitchen floor. I’m just glad the cut wasn’t worse, but still – he shouldn’t have the cut at all! He wouldn’t, if I hadn’t gone messing with him.
You bet your bippy that after this we’ll be doing periodic mat checks and getting them while they’re still in the “tease out with fingers” stage. I never want to have to take scissors to his sweet little self ever again.
I feel awful.
I’m so sorry, Macbeth. Forgive me?* I’ll give you all the feline greenies and tummyscritches you want…
*I’m pretty sure he reads my blog while I’m at work during the day, and is responsible for half the spam comments I get.