Holy Stigmata, Aethelred!

Seeing is it's about lunchtime for my reader on the east coast and dinnertime for my European readers, I've decided not to include any pics of Aethelred's stigmata along with this post.

"Did somebody say 'dinner?'"
Aethelred claiming his seat at the table early on Thanksgiving morning.

Rev asked yesterday what was wrong with Aethelred after I'd mentioned that his Padre Pio-like stigmata had healed, and I decided to make him sorry he asked by actually responding.

We realized about 2 weeks ago that Aethelred had two claws we had never noticed before - and that's not for lack of looking. He'd had stinky feet for weeks, and we simply couldn't find a cause for it. We just thought they were just stinky! Turns out he had two claws - one on each front paw - growing up underneath his front paws and into the center of his paw pads in a stigmata-like fashion. They were totally covered in his freakishly huge furry slippers.

Aethelred's freakishly large paw held by Ann Coulter.

My first thought on finding these extra claws was something like "EEEEWWWW!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWW!!!" The mom side in me almost always kicks in first with a revulsion at all things nasty and a desire to flee screaming into the night so somewhere, anywhere NOT nasty, like a spa.

This initial "mom" reaction is almost always immediately followed by the dad side in me: "Huh. I bet if I used my cuticle nippers and some gauze I could get those out in a snap. There's no quick! I could snip 'em, clean it up with some of that there Betadine and Hibiclens I have left over from my last 'ttoo, and wrap 'em right up with some of that gauze I've been saving since 1986 because I KNEW I'd need it for a moment like this!" If Shannon hadn't stepped in I probably would have gone ahead and done this just like my dad would have. I'd have had all my nippers and snippers and scissors and 14 different sizes of gauze and antibiotic foams and cleansers and maybe some sterile padding materials to make sure the wound was all padded and comfy and wrapped like an Ugg boot. I'd be sitting there, absolutely focused, considering Aethelred's paw carefully and clinically, looking at it from every angle under the brightest flashlight I could find (which I'd have had rigged to the back of a chair next to me with duct tape so it pointed exactly where I needed the light) trying to determine exactly the best point of attack on the errant claws while poor 'Red looked around frantically for help.

I can totally identify with 'Red here, though I would be totally removed and clinical when performing the procedure myself. I remember clearly from my childhood that every time I got a splinter Papa Schuetter, no matter where he was, he could have been visiting family in Hungary, sitting in a loud pub on his 5th pind of Weiss, but as soon as I uttered the words "OW! Dang! A splinter!" I'd hear him call, "I CAN GET THAT!!! DON'T MOVE!!!! BARB? GET MY TWEEZER SET!!"

It's good for several reasons that Shannon insisted on taking Aethelred in to Dr Byron instead of letting me take care of him: A) The Animal House has lidocaine which instantly numbed his paws right up making the procedure painless, B) Animal House vets have probably performed similar procedures hundreds of times so it was done super-quick, and C) the mom side of me probably would have kicked in and realized what I was doing right in the middle of my trying to remove the errant claws and I would have either passed right out or run screaming into the night in a beeline for the Aveda in Lincoln Square yelling "OH MY GOD!!! WHAT WAS I DOING???? HOW DID I GET THERE?!?!?? SO GROSS!!!! GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS EEEWWWW!!!!"

"This is as close as you're getting to my paws, Mom. I'll only let you see them when Dad's in the room."

Shannon took a day off and brought Aethelred in two weeks ago today to have the claws removed and Aethelred's doing just fine. In fact, we never knew if he was ever even in any pain - he never limped, never hesitated in jumping from the hardwood floor to the ceiling fan, never wavered in his sneak-attacks on Bou. He just had stinky feet!

1 comment:

Rev Transit said...

You know, Shannon did mention this to me, actually, come to think of it.

That cat is such a freak of nature.

Great description of your mixed emotions, btw.