I will never forget the day my cat Jason appeared in the kitchen with a massive lump on the side of his face. He wandered into the room when I was cooking. I bent down to stroke him and recoiled in shock at the sight of his monstrously swollen cheek.
My heart sank because Jason was no stranger to large lumps on his body. He was a territorial fighter who frequently suffered from abscesses as a result of the injuries inflicted by other cats.
Life on the Street
The problems started when I moved to a street with several cats. Jason began fighting with anything on four legs and walked in one day with a large lump on his back. I took him straight to the vet who advised me to continually bathe the abscess in hot salty water until it burst. This was a very unpleasant procedure for both me and the Jason. When the bubble finally did burst, so to speak, the stink was truly disgusting!
Lumps and Bumps
That first lump was followed by many others. I began to wonder if there was a cat in the neighbourhood with incredibly venomous claws. The abscesses were becoming a monthly occurrence and were usually to be found on Jason’s back and flanks. But then he walked in with a whopper on his face. He looked like he was sucking a golf ball! So, back to the vets I went.
This time the vet felt that the issue was so severe it might require surgery. He asked that I attempt to bathe the abscess but if that didn’t work to bring Jason straight back. It didn’t work!
Jason was admitted for surgery later that afternoon. His face was sliced open to evacuate the abscesses. He wasn’t a happy kitty when I collected him but at least he no longer looked like a mutant.
Whilst I continued to live in that house, the abscesses continued to appear but there were no further surgeries. Curiously, when I moved again, the episodes ceased. I will never know if this was because Jason was getting older and had stopped being such a warrior or if the problem really had been one neighbourhood cat.
There was a cat that Jason appeared to detest and the fights with him were extremely vicious. Perhaps Jason could emerge from other battles unscathed but found it difficult to overpower that particular feline.
When we moved house I discovered that there were five cats living next door but Jason never seemed interested in fighting them. This might be because they were all female apart from one tom called Gizmo who was absolutely enormous. Gizmo, it appeared, was too big to bully!