Seth doesn’t appear Wednesday night, no sign of him. Thursday morning. I go round my neighbours checking garages and sheds. No sign of him along the road. The road that at the moment because of closures has become the main through route in Longridge. The traffic is non-stop, a cat doesn’t stand a chance of crossing the road — I should have kept him in.
Seth is named after the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. So why a female goddess? Well, when I took ‘her’ as a kitten thirteen years ago to be spayed, the vet announced she was a he. Oh! So I quickly changed her/his name to the masculine Seth and he was neutered.
Historians say the Egyptians revered the number nine because they associated it with their sun god, Atum-Ra. According to one version, Ra gave birth to eight other gods, (including Sekhmet). Since Ra often took the form of a cat, people began associating the nine lives (Ra plus eight) with feline longevity. In truth, they only have one like the rest of us but their agility often gets them out of serious situations.
I went to bed Thursday night fearing the worst. Friday morning there he was curled up at the bottom of the stairs. But he was not happy, a quiet moan and a tired look in his eyes showed he had a problem. I picked him up and realised the right back leg was hanging at an unusual angle, he showed distress if I moved the limb. How had he managed to drag himself home? Nine lives. A phone call to my local vet arranged an appointment that afternoon. They thought his hip was dislocated and would have to sedate him to try to relocate it. I was asked to come back at 7pm.
7pm. The receptionist explained they were still trying to manipulate it. Her concern was obvious. I sat in the waiting room, it felt like being in casualty at a hospital. I read all the notices on the walls. (I never knew lily stamens were deadly to cats and dogs)
7.30pm. Nigel, the vet, appeared with sweat on his brow “we are struggling to get the joint back into place”. It felt even more like casualty.
8.00pm. Nigel came back looking much happier, he had been successful. All I could do was thank him for his skill and persistence.
8.30pm. Seth had come round from his anaesthetic and was back in his basket. There had been no other injuries. I was given instructions for the next 24hours or so, and took him home. We both slept well.
Over the weekend he was placed in a roomy cage in the kitchen to give him space but avoid over movement. He slowly showed his indomitable spirit and demanded food. I gave him some chicken pieces as a treat. When he stood up, both rear legs seemed supportive. He complied with his restriction with a knowing look.
Back at the vets for a check-up on Monday morning. All the staff seemed pleased, and no doubt relieved to see him well. The star took it all in his stride (no pun intended) Keep him in the cage for a month to ensure there is no strain on the joint was the advice. He will need lots more treats! Thankfully, I have no plans to be away, or at least I can postpone them, so I can give him all the attention he deserves.
He can’t tell me what had happened — just another of his nine lives.