Bummed-out Kitty Blues

Last week, my cat Charley was sullen and unfrisky. He was eating, drinking, and pooping, but there’s no question he wasn’t his quirky self. He was pissed.

At me.

This is what I wrote at the time, and saved in draft form until Charley and I made a trip to the vet:

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I think this is the first time this has happened so I’m having a particularly hard time getting the cold, furry shoulder. He has a middle-of-the tail injury, and I’m pretty sure I caused it and I feel like the biggest jerk in the world. He seems sure of it.

It happened last night — I picked him up to give him a cuddle, per our custom, but had an awkward handle on my little buddy and he slipped down to the floor. Not normally an issue — I’m not eight feet tall — but somehow his tail was bent in the process. He let out a little yelp and ever since he’s pretty much ignored me, save for occasional stare-offs from across the room.

I can’t believe you, he seems to admonish silently. You should be downgraded from cat to ficus.

A search of a few different pet sites and forums tells me that the best course of action is to monitor for improvement or signs of pain, and if there’s no improvement after a week or so, to schedule a vet appointment. I’m going to double-check tomorrow morning with a call to the vet anyway. In the meantime, Charley is roaming the house, sitting in his usual perches, and periodically visiting his food bowl. But his tail is sagging and he looks forlorn and he’s totally ignoring me and I am the worst cat mom ever. You could cut the guilt in this room with a toy mouse.

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Flash forward to today: Charley had a mild fracture in his tail that the vet thinks might have happened before I picked him up that night. We’re not sure, but most importantly, he now has full movement and he’s in good spirits. He’s still a little tender but has returned to normal playing. The folks at my local vet office were great; he growled and hissed and took off across the office with a syringe of painkillers hanging out of his back, and they never batted an eye or stopped praising his handsome tuxedo-cat coat.

He is pretty handsome, after all. And back to being a goofbag.

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