Tuesday, January 10, 2023

And Then What Happened?

Zofia’s spay surgery was successful, and included no complications. Those began after she returned home.

I usually don’t put a cone on a cat unless I see her worrying the surgical site, and initially, little Miss Zed was not bothered by the incision. Later in the evening, though, she started twirling about and flipping over trying to bite her abdomen. A cone was needed.

Unfortunately, there were two problems. The cone supplied was given gauze strips with which to secure it. These did not stay tight, unless I wanted to tie them so tightly that there was a risk of strangling the poor girl. A friend in the rescue-group hurried over with another cone, this one with cloth tapes that are strong and which have a tacky texture, which allow them both to be tied well and to stay in place. After a first failed attempt - Zofia crawled under my bed and used the frame like a bottle-opener to remove the cone - I was able to secure it in place. It didn’t help that the cone is actually too large for a slender kitten.

In any case, things didn’t end there. Because the library presented too many opportunities for a cat imprisoned in a cangue to become trapped, possibly in a dangerous position - she almost fell between bookcases while I was with her, though I managed to grab her - she was removed to the bedroom. While she didn’t spend long in trying to remove the cone, Zofia was nonetheless fully occupied during the night in exploring the room. No doubt rendered restless by the uncomfortable but necessary cone, she wasn’t still for more than a few minutes at a time. My attempts to sleep were foiled by the more or less constant sound of the plastic cone banging, scraping, knocking or otherwise crashing into something. I think I slept between one and two; I know I didn’t sleep before then, and probably not after.

I could have put my little charge in the bathroom, but I thought having my company would calm her. And she did settle down for a snooze about half an hour before I had to get up. In any case, her activities would likely have been the same in the bathroom, but with the sound amplified by its small space. This is a risk I will likely take tonight…

I had thought of a onesie to replace the cone, but the cloth would probably have been no deterrent to Zofia’s teeth. Indeed, this was demonstrated when I tried putting Minuet’s shirt on the youngster. True, it is too large a size for Zofia, but her reaction to it demonstrated what she would do.

The principal regret about the cone is that it is not needed all the time. She is not constantly nibbling at her wound. I suspect that an end of a suture or something similar causes sudden, sharp irritation, but only for a minute or so. The rest of the time, she is relaxed and content. But the damage she can do in that minute would be too great to leave her incision unguarded.

So the cone remains in place (I hope) until I return from work. Then it must go on again when Neville goes for his less dramatic veterinary appointment this afternoon. In a few days, though, it should be safe for Zed to be both unsupervised and coneless. That will be a relief to the both of us.


  1. Cones and lively little kittens are like oil and water. Heal up soon, Miss Z!

  2. Poor you and poor Miss Zed! The cone to put up with. I hope she adjusts a bit by tonight so there is some sleeping to be done.

  3. Boy, it sounds like you and Ms. Z have had quite a time. Hopefully she'll heal quickly so that the cone won't be needed for too long. Sometimes I wonder if medical professionals realize how impractical their medical orders are. It's kind of like a mother with 3 young children being told to rest in bed. It's not going to happen!

  4. A thicker onesie as in thick like a little jacket would be thick? ? Does anyone in the group have one? This is awful for you and Miss Z.

  5. I hope Zofia heals quickly and soon doesn't need the cone. The plastic/paper one from the vet was awful, back in summer 2020. The soft, fabric one with velcro was much better, got it on Amazon. I'm not sure there would be something small enough for Zofia, though. Still, I recommend having one on hand just the same, to fit any of your cats. It was not expensive, at least not when I bought it.

    This was the one I got for Derry, though I put it on him like a cape.


    Good luck this evening, I hope you and Zofia will both get some rest!

  6. Holding the eyelids open with toothpicks, eh John...like old cartoons.
    And poor Zofia; what fresh hell is this!

  7. I hope all is well with the sweet young one.

  8. Oh, poor Zofia, and poor you, John!

  9. Oh, dear...hope this night will be better for both of you. Poor Zofia, she must wonder why she is being punished...

  10. Purrs Zofia is a fast healer so she can be free of needing the cone.
    Purrs you both survive the next few says ;)
    Purrs, Julie

  11. Oh dear! What a night that must have been. How did you ever make it to work with little sleep?
    Hopefully everything settles down in a few days. I wonder what Horace is thinking when she wears the cone 🙀.

  12. I forgot to say that I had to look up the word cangue. How fitting!!!!