CAT OF THE YEAR 2023
It is a great honour and a pleasure to announce the most deserving winner of the Vet2Cat Cat of The Year 2023!!
This is, however, done with a touch of sadness, as this award is presented posthumously.
The award goes to SCARLETT who we guided on her way to Rainbow Bridge just before Christmas, at the grand age of 21 years old.
Scarlett was a much beloved member of her family, having been with them since she was a very young cat, and had grown up with the kids. We started our journey with Scarlett back in Nov 2020 when she was a mere 17 years old! She had very long claws, one of which had grown into the toe pad, a common occurrence in elderly cats. Scarlett had not seen a vet since 2014 owing to her, how shall we put it… rather spicy nature… In fact, when we received her past clinical history, it was full of lots of warnings in shouty capital letters about being careful as she was “aggressive”.
In feline circles, we don’t like to use the word ‘aggressive’, preferring to use the term ‘repulsion behaviours’, which sounds a bit odd. Let me explain…
Essentially if cats perceive a threat (such as a vet wanting to touch them!) they can do one of four things – appeasement (i.e. no hostile engagements, pose no threat themselves, e.g. face-rubbing, sniffing, rolling over); inhibition (like the ‘freeze’ mode, watching, staring – to gather more information), avoidance (look away, move away, run and hide!) OR repulsion, usually beginning with warnings like a low grumbly growl, ears back, and escalating to hissing, then swiping out, then full on warfare.
Now little, tiny, cute Scarlett hadn’t read this chapter in the ‘How To Cat’ manual, so she would go straight in with full on warfare! And so began the following 3 years of our looking after this little fire-cracker! With gabapentin, our Kevlar type blankets and very brave veterinary nurses we managed to do what was necessary, we even got blood from her a couple of times, blood pressure checks, and wee samples, we clipped her claws regularly and injected her every month with the magic Solensia arthritis treatment. Each time she would hiss and spit and make a big song and dance out of it, so when I saw her for the last time and she didn’t make any objections, I knew the time was right.
Sweet Dreams little scary Scarlett, we know the feeling wasn’t mutual but we loved you all the same, and will miss you very much.