Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stubbs, The Clubbed Foot Kitty

There are the questions clients ask that sometimes leave you fighting back laughter. Like one client asked me once "How I could possibly recommend neutering her pit bull BEFORE he had the chance to have sex?"

Some questions seem obvious and often leave me trying to wrap my head around what the client doesn't understand. I often have to tell myself to pause, think, and ask a question before I blurt out something that sounds sarcastic and insensitively blunt.

For instance, "Why does my dog need heartworm? They never go outside unless we are with them."

Truth be told, these are a whole lot easier to answer than the ones that cause me to have to suppress the steam that tries to explode out of my ears. I will happily answer every silly inquisitive query, but those who ask to try to transfer responsibility in an effort to relieve themselves from a burden they clearly elected to take can drive me to the brink. Like, one guy who cam in with his beagle he had had for 8 years who said to me, "Why should I pay $500 to fix his leg, when I can get a new puppy for free?" I actually spent 30 minutes trying to convince this guy to give a damn about his dog. I offere to fix the dog at a substantially discounted fee, he refused to pay anything, I then offered to re-home the dog and make sure the leg was fixed. In the end he said that "this dog was his and he could do whatever he wanted, and he wanted to not do anything." I truly almost lost it on this guy. I told him to leave and never come back. As a closing statement I told him that I believed there was a special place for him to spend eternity in. I know, childish and unprofessional. I have been called worse.

Today's question came from a kind woman to had been trying to catch a stray she was feeding. She had initially wanted to catch him because she suspected he wasn't neutered. Her concerns grew more hurried when she began to notice that he limped when he walked.

We had spent many days trying to figure out a way to catch him.

Over that time she had named him, appropriately, Stubbs.

Finally the phone call came in that she had caught him and was dropping him off shortly for his neuter, vaccines, FeLV/FIV test and microchip.

When Stubbs arrived he was the typical feral Tomcat. Hiding in the far corner of the metal trap, trying to look transparent and hoping to be ignored.

We sedated him quickly through the wire of his cage and let him fall asleep under a blanket.

Within ten minutes Stubbs was sleeping and the list of needed items was being started.

Within seconds of removing him from his cage the limp was obvious.

Stubbs was missing the end of his toes on his right front foot.

I called his mom and reported our findings.

She asked the usual, "what happened?" "how long ago did it happen?" and, "will he be OK to go back outside?"

I answered the best I could.

"I don't know whether he was born that way, or whether he lost the ends of his toes to an accident?"

"But, the feet are healed and he will be almost fully functional without them."

I also said that I thought he would be OK to go back outside. He was a very feral older cat and had survived well in spite of his handicap.

She said that he stayed around her house, was always there for meal times and seemed to always look well fed and healthy.

Stubbs went home that night and has stayed close to his home since. He is cared for and safe and as Tiny Tim would say "God Bless Us Everyone."

If you have a pet related question of any kind you can ask me, or any of the other helpful people at We are here to help you and your pet 24/7, and we are always free to use.

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