It’s not serious: This cat was gone for good

By Ted Blankenship | April 1, 2024

When I was a reporter in another town, I covered the two local hospitals and became friends with the head nurse. That is, I thought she was a friend until she gave me a Siamese cat. 

When this cat grew up, he was huge. And, as any Siamese owner will tell you, even a small Siamese cat can be intimidating. 

When I came home for lunch, he’d growl and launch himself at me from atop the refrigerator. Sometimes, he’d dig his claws in for emphasis. As far as he was concerned, there was no room in our town for another male, cat or otherwise. 

Soon, he was spending several days and nights away from home. In a week or two, a neighbor phoned and said he thought our cat was in his attic. I thought that was a good place for him, but Dorothy said we should bring him home. We tricked him into leaving with some canned sardines. 

The cat was a mess. He obviously had been in several fights. His fur was missing in places, he could barely walk, both ears were shredded and he had scratches all over his body. 

We took him to the vet, who prescribed some antiseptic soap. 

“Take him home and give him a bath with this soap and put some iodine on the scratches and cuts,” the vet said. 

“Give a cranky cat a BATH?” “Put IODINE on his cuts?”

Well, he was the veterinarian. So, we put him in the bathroom sink and filled it with warm water. He looked unhappy but put up with it. Then we wrapped him in a heavy towel, leaving his head and shredded ears out. I sat on the floor holding him and Dorothy gingerly applied a bit of iodine. The cat howled, jumped out of my hands — scratching me in the process — and took off at lightning speed. He rounded the corner of the living room, vaulted over a coffee table and flew through the locked screen door. We watched him disappear — towel still attached — into traffic on the main road into town. We never saw him again. 

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