Sassy re­ally needed an ex­or­cism but an­tibi­otics had to do

Cape Breton Post - - WEEKEND -

Ijoked with Beth and Jack — their cat’s real name wasn’t ac­tu­ally Linda Blair. But any­body who has wit­nessed the in­fa­mous scene from the 1973 hor­ror clas­sic The Ex­or­cist, where the de­mon-pos­sessed girl sat in bed pro­jec­tile vom­it­ing and spin­ning her head on its axis, wouldn’t ar­gue with my rea­son­ing for the nick­name I gave her.

She was aptly named by her adop­tive folks as well, how­ever, get­ting tagged with Sassy af­ter only a few days of mov­ing into her new home. She had in­stantly hated Beth and Jack’s other two cats and still does to this day. By the way, she loathes me as well.

I never re­ally gave Sassy a rea­son to like me. Her first few vis­its al­ways in­volved a nee­dle of some kind. At six months of age she had a painful, in­fected spay in­ci­sion that re­sulted from su­ture re­ac­tion and ex­ces­sive lick­ing. At age one we then crossed paths over a ten­der ear in­fec­tion. I fast be­came her pub­lic en­emy num­ber one.

Beth and Jack just couldn’t get the ear drops into Sassy’s ear, so I re­luc­tantly agreed to do it for them. They stopped into the clinic once a day for the treat­ment, but on the third day, Sassy flipped and went feral on my arm. I swear her head turned 360 de­grees. It was later that day, af­ter my over­due tetanus shot, that I re-named her.

I didn’t see Sassy again for a long time, be­cause I had to ex­plain to Beth and Jack that vis- its were lit­er­ally un­safe for both her, and my staff. The kind of adren­a­line rush Sassy was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing could have pushed her heart over the edge.

It was four years later when Beth and Jack called and said that Sassy had mel­lowed a bit, but she was hav­ing a bad time with her skin. She had re­moved all the fur from her neck by scratch­ing at it, and had de­vel­oped a thick ex­u­date on the bare skin due to the re­sult­ing py­o­derma (skin in­fec­tion). They fig­ured she had got­ten into some­thing in the base­ment, which had ir­ri­tated her skin, trig­ger­ing the con­di­tion. I knew she needed to be seen and that she’d need an an­tibi­otic at least. Re­luc­tantly, I told them to bring her in, and waited for the ar­rival of Linda Blair.

I was hap­pily sur­prised by our en­counter. Al­though she took a few swipes at me with her claws, no heads turned or blood was let. I ac­tu­ally man­aged a brief exam. She had a rather deep py­o­derma, but I knew that Beth or Jack (or me for that mat­ter) were never go­ing to get any pills or liq­uid into this cat. But this time I had a new su­per weapon.

My new weapon? A long-act­ing, 14 day, broad-spec­trum cephalosporin an­tibi­otic… in­jec- tion. Where have you been all my life?! While my neme­sis looked up at the win­dow, I sneak­ily took a pinch of her skin and quickly gave her the nee­dle be­fore she could spin around and nab me. I told Beth and Jack that I might need to re­peat her in­jec­tion af­ter her two week as­sess­ment. But with my new su­per weapon (and a bless­edly more co-op­er­a­tive kitty) I was ready. At least I hoped so.

Thanks for read­ing. Adopt, neuter and spay, save a life ev­ery day.

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