Friday, April 29, 2016
Regrettable moments 5: 'Cat person'
‘Would you like to give birth with a broken spine...?’
This was the question shrieked at me by our lady vet when I produced our grey tabby (Teets) for a pregnancy test, little more than a month after she’d been run over and broken her upper tail, technically part of her spine.
The test was positive.
To be fair, to the vet, it was not ideal that our broken cat was pregnant so soon after the injury that had nearly cost her her life. And I should probably have kept her inside and out of harm’s way for some while longer than I did.
To be fair, to me, however, I'm not really a cat person. Also, if you haven’t tried keeping a non-neutered cat indoors in mating season, broken spine or no broken spine, you can’t really judge me for failing to, because it’s not as easy as it sounds.
I tried to explain this delicately to our lady vet, but she was reluctant to see my point of view.
‘Breeders do it all the time!’ she fairly screamed, and I had to wonder how they ever succeeded in breeding cats if this were the case, as well as questioning whether it was fair to expect me to grasp the machinations of restraining horny cats without any training.
The home birth didn't go too well, though we’d read all the manuals and built the birthing box. Teets needed an emergency caesarean and some of her kittens didn't make it. But one did and we kept her.
Mother and daughter Trix are doing fine many years on, and I’ll never forget the day, with quivering hands, I successfully delivered a slippery, squealing kitten to a cat with a broken spine, onto our cream-coloured carpet. The stain is a constant reminder.