by Maggie Sharp
(Hobart, Tasmania, Australia)
Chilli the day after the accident
This story is also featured in The Abyssinian Breeder magazine, so not only does the copyright go to myself but also to George Kennedy, who bred Chilli and puts TAB magazine together. The accident occurred on the 18th of February 2009.
This is always a hard story to explain, so I'll try to make it simpler, at the time I am on the computer replying to emails, oblivious to anything and everything around me, my older sister is playing with Chilli and his toy mouse, and my younger sister is standing on the armchair exciting the dog. Now, my older sister throws the mouse across the room and Chilli chases it, at the same time my younger sister jumps of the couch a falls directly onto Chilli's head.
Chilli screamed and ran into my room, without hesitation I jumped off the computer and ran straight after my little boy.
He lay beside my bed, moaning and slowing moving his head from side to side with blood pouring out of his nose, I yelled to my mother telling her to call an emergency vet, at the same time my father and older sister came in, the fact that my father told me he wasn't going to make it didn't help the situation, and my younger sister was so filled with guilty she couldn't look at Chilli! I grabbed the travel cage and put it together, we had to put Chilli in there very gently as he was in pain.
On the way to the vet I couldn't stop crying, watching the blood heavily run from his nose, listening to his pain-filled moans, and seeing his tiny body shake. It was too much, he was so little.
When we finally got into the vet, the vet looked at him and said we were very lucky, any worse and I could have lost him. He was suffering from shock, and had a blood nose, which was most likely broken. No brain damage apparently occurred.
That night I took Chilli's litter box, food and water into my room; I had all toys packed away. I lay in my bed and put Chilli beside me, he curled up but didn't sleep. Nor did he eat.
I woke up the next morning, he was still beside, now fast asleep, his eyes were dilated, his nose was caked in dry blood and he really did look terrible. I spent the whole day with him, not once did I let him out of my sight, he seemed to squint a lot that day, but the bleeding had stopped and he was starting to pick himself up again. But, as you can hopefully see from the image, his nose was completely blocked up, and he had to breathe out of his mouth constantly.
He was never really the same after his accident, for a while he wouldn't let people pick him up, and he wasn't trusting of people. Over time he placed complete trust in me, and I'm now the only one who can confidently handle him. Though this is changing, and he's warming up to some people...
His nose was blocked for several weeks, and the blood had dried over the nostrils so I had to pick it off. (Yuck!) Ever since his accident, he's had a whistle when he breathes out of his nose and purrs, which is really quite cute! Makes him more unique, and always makes me laugh!
As time progressed Chilli completely recovered, but it really showed me how careful you have to be when around kittens? They're only small; they're very fast and very fragile.
I was lucky that Chilli recovered the way he did, but risks like that can't be taken. It could very much have been worse, and from experience, I know that it's not easy to lose an Aby, so I must stress to all fellow Aby owners, be cautious around kittens! They're very unpredictable!