The official account of an unfortunate accident involving Pink, the youngest and most rambunctious of the four Panache Cats.  He’s fine now, but it caused me to re-think hand tool safety.  

Ok, this one deserves its own blog entry.

I came home from work to have lunch Wednesday of last week and found blood all over the house.  Chi was sitting in his room doing something on his computer and didn’t seem the least bit perturbed, so it obviously wasn’t his blood.  With him eliminated, I set about rounding up all the Panache Cats and inspected their paws.  It turned out that Pink, who seemed oddly unperturbed himself, had a nasty wound on his left hand.  It was bleeding so much that I couldn’t see the full extent of the injury, but it looked like the thumb pad was almost completely severed.  He had also shredded the palm pad pretty badly.

I can’t imagine how Chi could have totally failed to notice blood all over the house.  I mean, there were bloody paw prints all over the kitchen floor, all over the carpet in all rooms except ones he doesn’t have access to, like the bathroom and the office; on the furniture, on the windowsill, etc.  Anyway, once Chi was alerted to the fact that Pink was seriously injured and needed to be rushed to the hospital, he doused the wounded paw with gin, got out one of the kennels and put Pink in, and took him so I could go back to work.

After grabbing a quick bite to eat, I searched the house to try and find what could have hurt Pink so badly, and didn’t see anything, and thinking that there must be a shard of glass lurking about somewhere, decided to vacuum again when I got home from work that evening, fervently hoping the other cats wouldn’t have an malignant encounter with it while I was gone.

The vet called me when I got back to work and recommended that he remove the nearly severed bit of thumb pad and bandage the wound, since paw pad tissue when cut that deeply is difficult to suture and tends to die off and get infected, and that part of the paw isn’t all that anatomically important.  He also said that it looked like Pink had jumped down from somewhere and landed on something sharp.  When he said he was going to give Pink a little gas before performing the surgery, I said to take it a little easy since Pink was probably somewhat drunk from licking off the gin Chi had poured on his wounded paw as a first aid measure.

Home from the hospital

Jaco doesn’t recognize Pink at first

You ok, lil’ Man?

Before vacuuming, I made a more rigorous search of the house, and this time noted that the claws of my hammer were facing up.  I had left out on top of my toolbox the previous night after hanging something on the wall as part of a major clean-up operation of the office, and I hadn’t left it like that.  Puzzled, I looked more closely and noticed a large spot of blood on my hardware kit sitting next to the toolbox.  The toolbox was a couple feet from the dresser.  I picked up the hammer, felt the claws, and was struck by how sharp they are.  Even after a few decades of experience working with hammers, I had never ever realized that before, so it had never entered my mind that a hammer could inflict a serious injury by itself independently of a human actively using it to hit someone with!

Now the whole thing made perfect sense!

The cats are always getting up on the dresser and jumping off of it, and Pink would not have thought twice about jumping down on that interesting-looking black and orange box with the interesting thing lying on top of it.

Hmmm…looks suspicious….Wow! Those claws are SHARP!

This theory is looking more plausible.

Well, the anesthetic soon wore off, as did Pink’s patience with that huge, awkward thing stuck to his left hand and the even more huge, awkward thing around his head.  He began shaking his hand like crazy trying to get the bandage off.

Wow! He managed to get up into the tower!!

His traumatic experience that afternoon had done nothing at all to lessen his appetite, so when he voraciously hoovered down his dinner, he got food all over his face and all over the cone collar, which was a terrible mess to clean up.  I didn’t want to remove the cone in case I couldn’t get it back on securely, which would make it easy for him to get the bandage off and expose the wound to a high probability of getting infected.

After dinner he came in the office to hang out with me as I was doing some administrative work, and decided to have a look around behind the desk.  With his mobility impaired by the cone on his head, he promptly got all tangled up in the hundreds of cables and wires from the large array of electronic gadgets populating my desk.

Pink?

After I helped him extricate himself, he plopped down on the floor next to me and purred himself to sleep for a brief nap.

Played out and purring

The vet prescribed some antibiotics, and when I gave him his meds before bedtime, it was particularly awkward to administer due to the cone, so he got pink stuff all over his face.  And his neck.  And the cone.  Another horrendous mess to clean up as best I could, and I had to give him a second dose with a better success rate at getting it in his mouth.  He managed to get the bandage off by day 2, and by that point he had quite a bit of food and medicine all over his head.

Eeeewww!

What a mess!

This is getting old!

The cone lasted until day 4, and even after finally being able to lick himself, his neck is still a bit pink.

Still in the pink!

He seems to be healing nicely, but I think we’ll take him back to the vet to have the wound looked at again, and to get the remaining tape that had held the bandage in place removed from his wrist since I have no clue how to get it off without it being a torturous ordeal for him, and for us.

Now how are we going to get this off?!

Well, tonight after dinner I looked at his injury and although the actual injured part looks good, I noticed that the hair is coming off and the skin looks quite irritated around the remaining tape, so as much as I can’t stand to hurt my baby, I decided it would hurt him more to let that situation progress further, so I gripped his wrist firmly and started peeling and unwinding that very sticky, tenacious tape, and when it got down to the final layer, Chi got the dull-as-shit kitchen scissors and cut it and peeled it the rest of the way off.  Not as much hair came out as I had feared, and although that procedure was clearly uncomfortable, Pink seemed not the least bit bothered when we finally got it all off.

He is spending the remainder of the night playing happily with his siblings!

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