Monthly Archives: August 2014

What to do if your cat gets a scratch

The Staff have had their first Fuss and Feed V.E.T. drama. In fact, Monday evening turned out to be quite a round.

At the first house they discovered the clients had decided they were fed-up with Whiskers and had begun to prepare their own supper by placing a small (dead) bird in one of their bowls.

The second house was the scene of the drama – more later – and at the last house there was vomit.  Nice.

But back to the House of Drama. Three of our clients live there – two lady cats and a street-wise, battle-scarred wily old campaigner. Well, it looked like he had lost this particular campaign and The Staff are not unconvinced that one of the lady cats was responsible. Meow.

He had a nasty scratch over one eye heading towards his ear. So, much to his disgust, The Staff gently cleaned it with saline solution. This is the best thing to use and here’s why.

Most of our minor wounds will heal on their own but it’s really important to keep them clean to avoid infections.

Use a saline solution to clean the wound. It will disinfect the wound without stinging and it doesn’t have side effects.

Completely dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of table salt in 237ml (1/2 pint) of room-temperature water. Use cotton wool to gently bathe the wound with the solution three or four times a day until it heals.

Make sure you make a new solution each time though because bacteria can form if it’s been sitting around. And of course use new cotton wool balls or pad for every treatment.  

Please don’t use an antiseptic that you’d use on yourself though. We cats do like to lick ourselves clean and human antiseptics can be toxic to us. Apparently Savlon and Dettol can give us a chemical burn on our tongues.  And they are too abrasive for our skin if it’s broken so please do avoid antiseptics intended for humans.

The Staff bathed the scratch again the next day but decided it would be sensible to take Mr Scrapper (not his real name) to the vet. They asked themselves what they would do if it had happened to me and of course they would bundle me into my carrier and take me off to see He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Happy to report Mr Scrapper is fine and doesn’t even have to wear The Collar of Shame. He did, however, get an antibiotic injection and a course of tablets for his troubles.

So, if you’re in the slightest bit concerned about a scratch or wound on your cat, or one you’re looking after, clean it with mild salty water first, then always consult your vet.

The Staff report that, despite being carted off to the V.E.T. this morning, Mr Scrapper came running to greet them this evening so he’s obviously forgiven them.





Remembering the brave war animals


Image of the Animals in War memorial, Park Lane, London (taken by Cat Morley!

Image of the Animals in War memorial, Hyde Park, London (taken by Cat Morley

I’m hearing lots of things about World War I at the moment because this week marks the 100th anniversary of its start.

I’m learning that it was a terrible time and many people lost their lives in dreadful circumstances. Really, you humans are a strange breed. You are capable of the most amazing acts of kindness and love, creativity and invention, and yet you also commit the most terrible atrocities.

Anyway, I’m also learning that many animals were involved in the First World War and that they did some very brave things.

These brave creatures, and other animals that have served with the British forces throughout history, have their own war memorial on Park Lane in London. It was designed by David Backhouse – an English sculptor, and was unveiled in November 2004.

Mules from the Animals in War Memorial, Hyde Park, London (Image by Dominick Kosciuk

Mules from the Animals in War Memorial, Hyde Park, London (Image by Dominick Kosciuk )

And if you go to see it, look out for the goat – it was modelled on Rosie, who lived with The Staff’s friends Annie and John in Wales!

Back in 1914 The Blue Cross – a wonderful charity that still does a terrific job today – cared for many animals injured during the conflict.

Originally, The Blue Cross was a fund set up by Our Dumb Friends League, which was formed in 1897. ODFL used the fund to care mainly for horses that were casualties during the Balkan wars of 1912-13.

It was reinstated during The Great War and sent vets, nurses, first aid and clinical supplies out to the front.

But as well as looking after injured animals, it also had a happier role. It’s kennels in Shooters Hill, London acted as a quarantine centre for animals returning from the war.

Monty (my namesake!) was a dog who had befriended a British sergeant in Turkey. He served with him in Gallipoli and apparently was instrumental in saving the lives of two soldiers.

But at the end of the war, the sergeant couldn’t afford to pay the quarantine fees. Blue Cross to the rescue! They stepped in and paid the fees so Monty and his human companion were reunited and able to spend the rest of their days together in more peaceful circumstances.

The kennels disappeared long ago and houses now stand where animals once lived. However, there’s still a pet cemetery with around 240 graves – some dedicated to brave animals who served beside their humans in various conflicts.

You can hear the story of The Blue Cross and Shooters Hill here