Aby-a-Day – 4 June: Kamikaze kitten (Almost Medical Monday)

Lorelai had a very busy Saturday. First thing in the morning, I called her and she didn’t come. She always comes when I call her. So we looked all over for her, and finally I wondered…did she discover the gap in the balcony windows…and actually jump down?


The balcony’s 2½ metres up from the ground (about 8 feet). It took Jacoby a couple of months to work up the nerve to try it when we first moved here. And, sure enough…I went outside and stood under the balcony and called her…and Rory came running. She jumped. Off. The balcony! And there was a guy with an off-leash bulldog across the lawn. Not good.


So after we brought her back inside, she attempted her next death-defying act.


I was doing some laundry, putting clothes in the dryer. But we don’t have the usual tumble dryer like we had in the States. We have a drying closet. Clothes hang in there and dry. I didn’t even know Rory was in the laundry room with me, let alone that she’d gotten into the drying closet.


I realised she was missing fairly quickly, and got her out of there. But I don’t know how long she was in the dryer, which was set to 60° C. Not too long, thank goodness…but I don’t even want to think about what could have happened. As it was, I instantly doused her with cold water, just in case.


Alfred was first to check on how she was after her dunking.


Freddy is such a good big brother.




Rory didn’t enjoy her cold shower. Hopefully she’ll remember it and avoid the drying closet.


It was a harrowing Saturday morning. But it goes to show you: No matter how much experience you have with cats and kittens, they can still surprise you. I would never have thought Rory would try to jump off the balcony, and I had no idea she’d gotten into the dryer. Without eternal vigilance, the unspeakable can happen.

Aby-a-Day – October 25: Jacoby’s Escalator Accident (Friday Flashback)

Jacoby’s escalator accident was three years ago this past Wednesday. I’ve got a lot of new readers, so I thought I should remind you all about this red-letter day in Jake’s history.

It started out as a simple errand to pick something up from my office on a Saturday morning. I took Jake along for company. When we got home, he wanted to run up the escalator (he loves stairs) and I let him. At the top of the escalator, he let out a horrible SQUAWK!

One of his back feet had gotten caught in the step as it went underneath the landing! I had no time to think, only to react, and I didn’t immediately see the emergency stop button for the escalator. There was also no MBTA personnel at the gate, so I just pulled Jake’s foot out and, not even stopping to look at it it, I held it tight in one hand and went up and outside…to wait for a bus. For about thirty seconds, until it occurred to me that I should take a cab. Thankfully, our vet is only several blocks up the street from us.

He was such a great boy while they were working on him! He didn’t need restraining or sedation, he just lay there calmly while we fixed him. He was extremely lucky: he only had a tendon-deep cut to one toe. It could have been so much worse.


Jake didn’t actually even get any stitches. The vet just used surgical glue and bandages to close the wound. And on the bus ride home, Jake was fairly alert, watching the cars out the window.


I made a little sock to cover his bandages so he wouldn’t bite at them and had all the girls sign it.


Isn’t it cute? The first time I put it on him, he went through a range of emotions…


“Oh, woe is me!” Jake can be very dramatic when he wants to be.


Then, his bandage became a toy.


Finally, he decided to try the Coyote Ugly approach. It didn’t work, thanks to the bitter “no-chew” bandages I used under his sock.


He even got flowers!


We had to visit the vet several time to check the healing and change his dressings. He took it all in stride, of course.


We even incorporated his bandaged foot when we dressed up for Halloween. He was an Egyptian mummy cat.


His foot remained bandaged for about a month. As you can see, he didn’t even notice it after a while.


Finally, the big day came! No more bandages! You can see the tiny scar between his toes.


He was so happy to finally be able to groom those toes! I wonder if it itched, the way a cast does?


He healed quickly, as you can see – he was bandageless by Remembrance Day! But he was so, so lucky. Boston escalators – especially the ones in MBTA stations – have killed people! Apparently, they have warning signs in LA about just this sort of thing:

Chihuahua hazard warning, escalator, mall, Glendale, Los Angeles, California, USA
Photo by Gruntzooki (Cory Doctorow) on Flickr

Jake’s so lucky that he didn’t lose his foot. I know I’ll never take an escalator for granted again.

Aby-a-Day – October 23: Wordless Wednesday (Recalling the Escalator Disaster of 2010)