Our feline friends


A firsthand glimpse into the daily life of a mixed animal practice veterinarian.

Cats are fascinating animals with a largely misunderstood personality. They have poorly developed facial muscles and so can display very few expressions yet they are often quite emotional.

Cats are very clever animals. They will often rub their forehead on the leg or body of their favorite person. This is not done just to show affection, they have secretory glands between the ear and eye and are bonding, marking that person as their “property.”

The statement has been made “Remember, cats are not just small dogs.” Cats are very intelligent but are not as trainable as dogs. Does this mean they are too independent to be trained?

I have had numerous cats brought to me for urinary tract infections that they demonstrated to their owners by urinating in the bathtub. Blood is very evident in a white tub.

Erv Visits the Hospital

Erv was a prime example of the bonding of a cat to its owner. He was presented to my clinic by Sue, the wife of his master and her friend Barbara. The complaint was that he was not eating for a long time and had bloody urine.

I took a urine specimen and told them the brown was from myoglobin, not blood in his urine. He was losing so much weight because he was catabolizing (digesting) his muscles to maintain his blood glucose to keep from dying.

I gave him a thorough physical examination and took blood and ran a battery of tests, all normal. I asked the women what else was going on in Erv's life.

His owner Peter who he loved dearly had been hospitalized for many months. He had gone in for laparoscopic gall bladder surgery that went tragically wrong. Peter unfortunatley developed peritonitis and had multiple surgeries to remove much of his pancreas and some of his liver.

I dispensed some Valium tablets and recommended they take Erv in to the hospital to see his owner.

Much to my satisfaction Erv went right to eating and recovered. His master spent nine months in the hospital with continuing visits from his devoted feline companion.

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