Mary is so damn unpredictable. You simply never know how she will react when she sees, or is confronted with, another animal. It can be anything from literally soiling herself, to blatantly ignoring the other animal, to absolute fierce aggression! There really is no telling.
Last Saturday we were on our way out to pick up my sister and her boyfriend for a late lunch, when we heard some terrible cat “screams” outside our apartment. Since it sounded nearby Mary’s window, I ran outside in my high-heeled boots to come to Mary’s rescue. My first thought was “oh heavens, she is under attack!!”.
What greeted me outside was not something I expected. Mary was clearly the aggressor in a very serious fight between her and another cat I have not seen before. It was pretty wild and clumps of her fur were all over the parking area. I shouted at her and the other cat took off, with Mary in hot pursuit. I eventually managed to catch up to the two rolling balls of flying fur and separated them. I picked Mary up and took her inside. Madam was all wide-eyed and wired. We immediately inspected her for damage and found two of the other cat’s claws embedded in her skin. But fortunately, there was no real damage that would require a trip to the vet. We locked her inside and went our merry way.
We got home about 5 hours later and Mary was visibly docile and not herself. We have witnessed this behaviour before and knew immediately that she was hurt somewhere. She was shaking her head continuously and there was dried liquid in her ear. Yet, we could not find anything other than a slight swelling on the side of her face.
Sunday morning we noticed the swelling had increased considerably. That meant one thing. A trip to the vet again. I am pretty sure that Mary is the vet’s most regular patient.
Our regular vet was not there and Mary saw a new female vet. The vet concluded that the swelling is an abscess. We briefly hashed it out – this was not an abscess. First off, there were no puncture wounds, secondly, an abscess does not form this quickly and thirdly, she had no fever (a common symptom of an abscess). The vet decided to draw some fluid from the swelling to determine what it was: pus would be indicative of an abscess, where as blood would not. Unfortunately, Mary had to have her beautiful soft ruffle shaven.
The fluid that was drawn from the swelling was just blood. The diagnosis was a ruptured gland. Mary was given a broad spectrum antibiotic, and if the swelling did not abate after a day or two, the gland would need to be removed. This is a tricky and delicate operation as there are many nerves on the side of the face.
The good news is, the swelling was down by Monday evening. Crisis averted. The bad news is, Mary has a bald patch on the side of her face again.
Mommy’s beautiful little scrapper.
Ready for attack (look at those wild eyes!)
A docile Mary after the fight, when we got home 5 hours later
Waiting for the vet
The vet inspecting the swelling, before Mary being shaven
Back home, one very unimpressed and unhappy kitty (shaven spot on the right)