Cat Reviews and News

A Dramatic Boxing Day on Trip to the Vet

Hi there everyone, Dusty here reporting on Dusty’s Drama Day, or it could be called ‘the Christmas to Remember! Mum posted our Christmas card on the Sunday Selfie and mentioned that I was unwell. Let me tell you what happened…..


Picture the scene, the Christmas Tree is decorated, the tree is so pretty, its little lights shining, the lovely decorations shimmer. Mum has carols on the radio and is humming along…. It’s Christmas Day, everyone is having a bite to eat, and I am given a tin of Fancy Feast as a treat.

Suddenly, I yeowled loudly, and Mum wonders what’s wrong. I look as though I have something caught in my mouth, but Dad can’t see anything and, when he checks my jaw, I don’t flinch – so they think, something caught in my tooth maybe, and relax.

Then I do the yeowling again, they check, find nothing and although I sound upset, I subside, and go quiet as though I am OK – but I don’t eat for the rest of the day.

Dusty's Drama Day Image of a cat
I yeowled but the look of innocence fooled everyone!


It’s Boxing Day. Mum gets up to find me with my left eye swollen and weepy – she is shaken.

I lay and look as though I am close to crossing the Bridge, tired, woebegone, and limp.  It gets worse over the next couple of hours, so Mum makes the call – regardless of any premium visiting charge to the After Hours Vet – we need to go – NOW. We ring the Wellington After Hours Vet to let them know we are on our way and set off (TIP:- It’s always good to ring ahead to an emergency vet).

The moment I am in the cat carrier I perk up. Mum and dad are baffled. My eye looks terrible and I had to be lifted limp and unresponsive into the carrier but, now, I am alert and looking around. I like car rides! As Dad drives down State Highway 2, and Mum checks the exact location of the veterinary surgery on her iBone, I look around enjoying the trip.

Mum takes a breath. If I am responding to a car ride, then maybe there is hope, I am ready to fight! We arrive at the Emergency Vet at Ngauranga, in the northern suburbs of Wellington. Dad is tense, imagining us sitting in the vets for hours in an endless queue, with restive pets, all barking and yeowling…….. but, there is just one grumpy bulldog being taken out for a toilet break, and two cats in cardboard boxes, brought in ‘not feeling well’.

We fill out a form and wait.  Mum doesn’t even get a chance to chat to the other cat owners before we are called in……


A nice vet, Dr Maloney, checks me over. He is calm, friendly and professional – we are in good hands.  I am quiet (as I usually am), then he opens my mouth ….. and what he finds makes Mum’s hair curl!  

I omitted to tell her and Dad I have an abscess near my jaw, this is what ruptured on Christmas Day. THIS is the cause of my sky-high temperature and swollen eye – which looks pretty dreadful by now. 

Dusty Senior Cat
I am on the mend. Feeling better already, thanks to skilled vet help.

This is what the vet did. If something similar happens to you, this is the kind of process you might expect.

  1. Dr Maloney gave me an initial once over, to check my general condition. I am thin and stringy at the best of times but he did not judge me as an out of time oldster – he was there to find out what was causing a specific problem – a real pro. 
  2. He took my temperature * winces *
  3. He then checked my eye, and looked inside my mouth – this is when he found and cleaned out the abscess cavity.
  4. The vet asked if I had been drinking, and explained he could give fluids. Mum said yes to the fluids. I only drank the day before – this is not enough.
  5. He hydrated me with two large syringes of slightly warmed fluid.
  6. and I received an antibiotic shot and a painkilling injection.

Dr Maloney explained to us that the abscess, and its location, caused my eye to swell.  Treating the abscess would remove the pressure on the eye and it would return to normal. It was already looking better when we left the surgery. When we got out into the sunshine and into the car I was, once again, alert and perky – I wanted a car ride!

Dusty's Drama Day
The very wide bowl contains my food – with added water to make it easier to eat.

The medicine we have.

Mum and Dad have been given two mini syringes of painkillers (Bupredyne) to give me at 8 hour intervals, and a set of antibiotics called Noraclav. We had specific instructions to return if I was not eating. BUT I am eating – this is a good sign, and I look much better.


  • Monitor any health situation that worries you. You know your pet, its moods and temperament better than anyone, so as soon as you feel unsure, and believe something might be wrong IT COULD BE so get to the VET
  • Keep calm. You are no use to your pet, or the vet, if you arrive in pieces. Be concerned, yes, but you are your pet’s advocate here – be as clear and accurate as you can.
  • Don’t panic if your pet seems weak and lacking in responsiveness. I looked in a poor way BUT when put in my carrier I became alert and responsive. Mum thought I was ready to check out – but she was wrong.
  • So, remember – humans don’t look their best when ill, neither will your pet.
  • Try to remember when your pet last ate and drank – a vet will ask – because it matters. Lack of food and water might bring a variety of issues into play.
  • If you have difficulty pilling a cat (or dog) get help giving the medication. No matter how intimidating it might seem to give pills and stuff there are always ways to get it done.  If you really can’t manage  – go back to the vet and get help. It doesn’t matter how dumb you feel – the vet office will help.
  • Make sure you give the full course of your pet’s prescribed medication.

As for me, I am on the road to recovery, each passing day sees me eating a bit more, drinking more, and moving back my familiar places. Each small move is a step towards recovery thanks to Dr Maloney and the staff at the after hours vets.  They made what could have been a Christmas pet catastrophe into a much happier event – a well Dusty Cat!

Dusty the Senior in serious pose

Dusty Cat, Adventurer
and Dusty’s Drama Day Reporter

Graphic help from Masastarus.

22 thoughts on “A Dramatic Boxing Day on Trip to the Vet”

  1. Oh wow what a crazy Christmas adventure indeed. I’m so glad at the time you had a great vet to spot the issue promptly. Whew. Dusty handled everything with grace.

  2. Dusty, that must have been very scary for your Mom and Dad. THey seemed to handle it calmly. We are glad you are back to normal

  3. We are very glad that you are better Dusty…. But we don’t understand, as it was the Festive Season… surely you’d been drinking???
    WeK 😉

  4. Yikes! This really made me wince because I had an unexpected wisdom tooth that had to be immediately extracted a week before Christmas. Thankfully I was well enough by Christmas to eat all the yummy food, and the sugary stuff that probably caused the wisdom tooth problem in the first place, LOL!! Thanks for sharing all the detail of Dusty’s experience, it’s very helpful to pet owners. I’m so glad Dusty is ok and on the mend. Happy New Year!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  5. OMG what a Christmas ! Can imagine your worries ! Pookie had this once too and got nearly the same treatment, but her eye wasn’t swollen, the vet took out all her teeth they were not good anymore. Now she eats like a horse again !

  6. That was a scary Christmas for all of you. I am all behind with my blog visiting so didn’t know anything about it until now. I am very glad you are feeling better and hope that nasty abcess is soon healed.

    • Flynn, please don’t stress. Mum gets herself in knots if she doesn’t visit people. She tries hard to get around the Sunday Selfies and maybe a few more before she implodes!

  7. Whoa, that was really scary, Dusty! We are glad Mum and Dad got you to the vet, and that you’re on the mend. We are sending healing purrs and prayers. Hugs!

  8. Whoa! I’m here and I’m glad you are feeling better, Dusty. TW panics over everything. She says it never fails that cats will get sick on a holiday or Sunday.

  9. Wow, Dusty, what an adventure ! It must have been scary for your mom, and painful for you. We’re glad the story has a happy end : get well soon ! Purrs

  10. That was scary! We’re glad you’re on the mend though. Yay for Moms and Dads who take action quickly when things seem wrong!

  11. Oh my mouses, Dusty! That must have been so scary for your peeps. And for you, too!

    Abscesses are nasty things. Once, Nosy-Neighbour-Cat had one and Peep #1 saw it when he was over at our house… visitin’. You know, like he does. His own peeps took care of him once the peep carried him over there, crossin’ her fingers he didn’t get it on account of any of us. MOUSES!


  12. We are glad you are feeling better Dusty! Take care of yourself and your humans1
    Mia, Mosby, Angel CJ (and their human)

  13. That is way scarier than my Christmas day! Thank goodness your mom and pops didn’t panic and did the very right thing and got you to the vets, ASAP. Get well wishes from us all.purrs ERin

  14. I am so glad you’re on the mend, Dusty. Abscesses are very treatable, so I’m sure you’ll be better soon – I’m sending you some healing purrs to help.

  15. Wow, that sounds like quite a scare on Christmas day – I’m glad you’re feeling better. Thank goodness for after-hours vet clinics.

    • Thank you Ma’am. I am being watched like a hawk at the moment, but yeah the after hours vet was great – we rang and told them I was doing OK – just so they knew.



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