Julia's Weekly Column For The Middy

Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble...for this little black cat, at least!

It was Hallowe’en, and I was forcefully reminded of this, when I heard the most awful screaming approaching our door.

It was Alfie, the black cat. He arrived yowling, as only a deeply distressed cat can. It was the kind of yowl that can be heard in every part of the Clinic building, and lets the team know that something is up!

And when I had examined Alfie, I felt that he had not exaggerated the situation. He was yowling because his bladder was blocked and had filled to the point of near-explosion. The pain must have been horrific.

Luckily, this was just the kind of emergency that my team excel at. Once the initial diagnosis was made, and the owner’s informed consent obtained, we split up. One Vet and her team of nurses whisked Alfie into the hospital to administer pain relief and relieve the pressure on the bladder before irreparable kidney damage set in, whilst the other Vet continued the discussion and paperwork with the owner.

The problem one has to consider with this disease in cats is - how did it get blocked up? And what are we going to do to stop it happening again?

Having established that Alfie was insured against just this type of risk, my colleague, Jean, was able to take some x-rays. Unfortunately this showed that Alfie had created lots of small bladder stones, and a couple of them had got lodged in his tubing from the bladder towards the outside world, the urethra.

This was absolute worst case scenario - they were deeply embedded in the inflamed tissues of the urethra, and had to be removed or he would never pee again.

Fortunately for Alfie his operation was a success, and his diet has been managed to reduce the risk of him making more bladder stones. But his story caught my eye this week, when I noticed that it is nearly Black Cat Awareness Week and Hallowe’en again.

Is it really still true that some people are superstitious about owning a black cat? Surely Alfie would not approve. I think black cats are equally gorgeous, so I wish the Cats Protection luck in their Awareness Campaign. Apparently black cats are more likely to be in a rescue centre than any other colour. If you fancy joining in a Black Cat Event, or giving a home to a black cat, at this Hallowe’en time - go to the Cats Protection website to find out more.

And don’t forget to keep sending us in your photos for our 2016 Calendar, in aid of the Medical Detection Dogs. It’s free to enter, and you could win the top prize of £100 worth of your choice of pet food! Email your favourite poses to enquiries@themewes.co.uk .

15th February 2018