Mister Nibbles is a cat who fully deserves the two syllables, and not the everyday, unheeded ‘Mr’.
This is a cat with attitude.
You will notice the way he holds his right paw? This is because he suffered some nerve damage around eight years ago.
One evening he did not come home for dinner, and when one of the animals does not return after ‘lights out’ it is a cause for considerable concern.
He failed to return the following evening as well, and knowing how our pets are such creatures of habit we had almost given up and just hoped he had found a good home and had not been … well you know?
At 1:30 in the morning I was working late at the computer when I heard this slithering sound as if something was being dragged across the wooden floor – or, there was a Park Town Prawn, one of those dreadful burrowing crickets, that sprays fecal matter if it gets really pissed off! I looked around the monitor and saw nothing , but then the sound started up again on the other side of the desk. I swiveled my chair and looked down.
Oh the gods! It was Nibbles!
His right leg was all twisted and at such an unnatural angle I almost gagged at the sight. His tongue was swollen and sticking out of his mouth, and as I moved to pick him up, crying out for the wife at the same time, I realised the reason it was sticking out: because he had bitten through it, thus ‘staking’ it, which prevented him from freeing it.
He was battered and crusted with blood. Dehydrated and obviously distraught but he couldn’t cry out because he had bitten through his tongue!
Within 15 minutes we were bundled into the car and off to an all-night vet. Once there, Nibbles was immediately sedated so his leg could be sorted out, and his tongue freed. It looked as if the shoulder may have been dislocated.
The vet surmised that he had been clipped by a passing car and from his condition it had taken him the best part of two days to drag himself home. Can you imagine for a minute just what that took! Our place is a split-level property on the upside of a valley and he would have had to haul and drag himself over and up goodness knows what to reach home. That took determination and courage like I cannot imagine. And from an animal!
His right leg was paralyzed and the vet gave him little chance of ever regaining the use of it.
The following day, once he was stabilized, we transferred him to our usual vet where he stayed for a few days to fully recuperate before we brought him home to convalesce.
He recovered the use of most of his leg. Only the paw never fully mended, and although he can put weight on it there is no sensation.
After all he went through, he still likes to wander a bit, but he rarely roams further than the neighbours’ and only those properties he can safely negotiate.
A Mister indeed!