Dog attack (not mine)

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Mollycat
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Dog attack (not mine)

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I took my dog out for a wee this lunchtime and was standing around chatting with a couple of neighbours when a large dog we know well attacked a neighbour's cat. The cat is at the vet's being examined thoroughly and scanned, sedated and made comfortable, the dog's owner gave his details and is also in shock as the dog has never done anything like this before.

I came home and for the 4th time in a couple of years just felt so grateful and relieved that she is an indoor cat, while at the same time feeling sad for her that she doesn't have the opportunity to go out into a garden and feel the breeze in her fur and the cool grass under her pads. There have been 4 incidents in a couple of years, this one with the dog, and 3 involving deliberate human inflicted cruelty, two of them fatal.

Luckily I have no choice, Molly can't go out, but I find myself torn on the indoor outdoor debate. I hate putting cats in cages, which is really what a house is, a big cage, but is it me? Is the world getting more dangerous? Am I falling for Project Fear? Maybe I'm becoming more fragile in my old age, more sensitive to pain and suffering, and risk-aware. I am sitting here with Molly sleeping peacefully by my side and just feeling so grateful for her, whatever little health problems she has, whatever these pesky animals have cost recently (a lot, a very lot!) but at least this can't happen to her. I am so thankful that all the what-ifs of this lunchtime can't happen to my girl. What if we hadn't been out there? What if we hadn't noticed? What if her owner had just gone out as she was about to but decided to wait for the cat to come back in?

Not sure what I'm asking really, I just need to not be alone in my head today.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Every time one of mine goes out the cat flap I know they are heading into possible danger, but for me I have accepted that. I'm lucky enough to live on a quiet cul de sac where many people like cats, assuming they don't have any themselves and the rest just prefer to ignore them. For me the biggest worry is evil human idiots (appologies to anyone born out of wedlock) and I do often wonder if I lived anywhere else would i feel so happy to let them roam. Saturn, my main wandering culprit fortunately doesn't like cars so he does have some road sense, if he hears one he goes in the opposite direction, not a panicked run, but a determined trot. I also know that even a slow car can hit a cat if it is in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm not sure how friendly he is to other people when out and about, but I rather get the feeling he isn't one that goes up to every stranger. For that matter I no longer try and befriend every cat I see in the street, if one comes to me I give it a fuss, but part of me is actually happy when i see one run from me, it means they are unlikely to go to a stranger that means harm. Freyja is less of a worry, i can't get near her when she is outside, so no stranger is going to get hold of her outside actual trapping. Freyja also had to be almost an indoor cat for the first year of her life as she couldn't seem to figure out the cat flap, i saw a change in her once she finally worked it out adn could come and go as she pleased, it made me realise that letting her out was the right thing to do in my circumstances.

On a slightly different note, i was out buying fish again for my pond today. A few weeks ago I noticed that none were coming up to be fed, after a few days I accepted that once again a heron had had a meal from my pond. I had been planning on a partial water change and decided to take the opportunity and do a full one and try and level the pond off while we were at it. I got to the last few inches and saw a flash of red. With a mix of care, nets and luck we actually fished 7 survivors out of the pond, including 4 tiny ones that were probably last years fry, it means I have lost 8 to 10 fish including some that were over 8 inches long and I'd had for several years. It is the second time it has happened in about 15 to 20 years since I started keeping fish, and as before there is the dilemma, do I net the pond to keep the heron out, but that would mean that the cats couldn't get to drink out of it, and when the weather gets hot and dry, I see a surprising number of cats drinking out of the pond, not to mention some rather brave or stupid birds, and who knows what visits during the night. I also have a good number of frogs call it home and have seen a newt or two over the years, nettng it would be detrimental to all of those. Is it then fair to keep fish in an open pond where they can end up as a meal for a heron, some people may say they are only Goldfish, but they are still a living creature. In the end I have replaced 4 of the ones I lost, the 4 tiny ones will grow to make up numbers, there are plants they can hide under and a couple of artificial fish caves, they have a nice reasonably big pond with flowing water to keep the quality up, so they have as good a life as they can while there. It hurts when the heron gets them, but some survived to carry on, and even if I hadn't bought any new ones, there would still be fish in the pond that hopefully would carry on to produce another generation. it isn't entirely nature being red in tooth and claw, but in this country very little is, we keep animals in out lives to brighten our lives up, all we can do is give them the best life we can and accept that they will share their life with us, however long it may be, if it is cut short, they arent' the one to mourn, we are, all they know is the life they lead and how good it was for however long it was.

I do hope the cat that was attacked recovers, and my heart also goes out to the dog's owner, they must be feeling terrible as well.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Thank you Ruth, I needed a lot of both what you said and what I suspect you thought but didn't say. I know you're right and I agree, and there is so much in the multiple replays in my mind that I am thankful for, beginning with the fact that the owner arrived quickly and was calm but did not witness the attack.

The update from them last night is that the cat will need her leg amputated, which the vet hinted strongly might be preferable for the cat to what would be involved in trying to heal. Again I am thankful that even in the car outside the vets I was able to point out that an amputation for an animal is not what it it for a human, and that the vet would help her make the best possible decision for the cat. This little cat melted my heart. In all her pain she trusted her owner to come out from under the car under her own steam.

Yes of course we take risks every time we open the door to them. Worse for this cat because we're in flats and there is no relative safety of a garden to protect them, they are out of the window and into a quiet cul de sac with many walkways and paths where many dogs including mine are trotting along off the lead. the railings of the school field and under the cars are the safety zones. There are also a lot of foxes about but they tend to chill or even play with the cats and one Bengal even takes chicken thighs out of the foxes' mouths on occasion.

I completely get you about the fish. I think I've told the story before of a place we stayed in Scotland a few years ago who let their two rabbits run free all day and put them to bed in a whole stable at night. Near Fort William, the risks to rabbits included the busy road, foxes, and several potential airborne predators. Were they nervous for the rabbits? A little, but they would rather the bunnies have two years of truly happy free life than five years cooped up in a small pen. I understand this, and your fish, better - those are prey species and there is some nature involved, as tough as it is losing our animals, at least they go to be food.

I find it harder with cats. Although it's nature for a dog to chase, a cat is not a prey species. Nothing naturally eats cats, and dogs that chase and kill cats don't do it to eat them. Not to start a big debate but that's where I see a difference between fox hunting and deer hunting, a deer is at least a prey species, a fox is not, a fox and a cat can be afraid and run, but they don't have the mentality of a creature that expects to be eaten any day now.

Maybe with heavy heart I might be coming to accept that an indoor cat is not quite so bad as I used to think. Pros and cons both sides. There are physical risks both sides and mental health challenges for indoor cats as well as increased risks of quite a list of diseases, whereas the risks outdoors are grave but few in number, here at least really down to dogs and cars. And evil humans.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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I too have changed my mind about the indoor/outdoor debate - I have an enclosed area 20 feet by 30 feet outside my back door, accessed by a cat flap, and which is partially paved with tubs and climbing plants - it gets loads of sun, and has been much appreicated over the past 20 years by several cats

not Penny though - she has been with me for two years now and has been out there perhaps a dozen times and then only for a sniff around and back in - she doesn't even go into the kitchen, choosing to spend all her days in the bedroom or sitting room, in my tiny one-bedroomed cottage

feeling safe is clearly her top priority, and far more important to her than any right to roam - I still don't let the feral cat I feed and shelter into the enclosure, in hopes than one day Penny may make use of it, but I have accepted that she is by choice an indoor cat

She had spent all her previous 11 years with an elderly couple, one of which developed dementia, and I rather suspect they might have been of the old school who put the cat out even if the cat didn't want to go, and maybe didn't have a cat flap, and when the rescue was told she liked to go outside that may not have been the full story
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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We tend to think as animals as either predator or prey, when in reality a lot of predators will be prey to something else. In the UK we are also lucky that we have very few large predators, although I'm in favour or reintroducing Lynx and Wolves, which keeps getting brought up from time to time, even they aren't really 'big' predators.

I used to be 100% against keeping indoor only cats, fully in the belief that cats need to roam, however i started watching the kitten cams from the States and Canada and talking with people from there and my attitude changed. Over there indoor only cats are the norm or outdoor only if they are feral, the indoor outdoor mix that is common in the UK was an entirely foreign consent to many of them. But when they started talking about Coyotes, Eagles, Bears, and Mountain Lions not to mention venomous snakes I started to under stand why it was normal to keep them inside and what could be done to enrich an indoor only cat's life, it made me realise how lucky I am to live in the UK, and now, while I'm happy to let my cats out where I live at the moment, when I finally move it is something I will seriously consider and a catio or pet proofed garden will be on the cards unless I'm lucky enough to find somewhere else as good for letting them roam.

As far as hunting goes, I'm not a fan of either type, but I understand the need to cull the animals from time to time, a marksman with a high powered rifle is the best option for deer in my mind, and for boar for that matter and is used in the Forest of Dean to control the numbers of both. A marksman can take his time pick out the right animals to cull and give them a quick painless death. I also know that foxes do become pest in farming communities, and while I didn't see it, I did hear of what one did when it got into the hen house at the farm I used to have a horse on loan at, 200 chickens dead, dying or so traumatised they had to be killed, but I don't believe that that chasing them across country with a pack of dogs is the best option to deal with the problem of overpopulation. I did once see one fox hunter that I did consider to be doing pest control not hunting for sport, he was by himself, with his horse and a couple of hounds, and a shotgun. It was spring time, the hounds would track a fox back to their den and then he would empty both barrels down the den, if he was lucky he would get the vixen and all the pups, if not he killed all the pups. Not a nice job and certainly not one being done for entertainment, but I would guess far more effective at reducing the numbers of foxes in the area than chasing one down one by one. I guess in the end I don't like to see any animal killed slowly or for fun on the part of humans, but know that the damage we have done as a species has ruined the natural balance of the countryside and it is up to us to try and do what we can to keep what is left in balance. Leaving the deer population unchecked would just lead to the boom and bust of feast and famine for the herds, and dying of starvations isn't a pleasant option either, better in my opinion a speeding bullet from a trained marksman. Sorry about all that rant, you hit a subject I feel strongly about, and with a degree in Environmental Science I know enough about how much harm humanity has done to the environment over the millennia.

I'm glad the cat will be alright, and i know that while the idea of amputation must be devastating for the owner, the cat will be fine afterwards and will probably surprise them with how well they cope and what they can do after it has healed.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Oh don't get me wrong Ruth I'm not a fan of hunting, I think it's outdated and rather horrible - I only understand deer more than fox because a deer's natural end would involved being chased down by a pack of wolves, more efficiently and quickly than they do for sport, but still definitely not something a fox brain is programmed for. Predators pick off the weak, sick, old and infirm - only humans go for the biggest trophy, taking out the strongest genes of the pool and eventually damaging the entire species. We are really truly disgusting. Culling is only needed because we wiped out their natural control.
Kay wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:54 am I too have changed my mind about the indoor/outdoor debate - I have an enclosed area 20 feet by 30 feet outside my back door, accessed by a cat flap, and which is partially paved with tubs and climbing plants - it gets loads of sun, and has been much appreicated over the past 20 years by several cats

not Penny though - she has been with me for two years now and has been out there perhaps a dozen times and then only for a sniff around and back in - she doesn't even go into the kitchen, choosing to spend all her days in the bedroom or sitting room, in my tiny one-bedroomed cottage

feeling safe is clearly her top priority, and far more important to her than any right to roam - I still don't let the feral cat I feed and shelter into the enclosure, in hopes than one day Penny may make use of it, but I have accepted that she is by choice an indoor cat

She had spent all her previous 11 years with an elderly couple, one of which developed dementia, and I rather suspect they might have been of the old school who put the cat out even if the cat didn't want to go, and maybe didn't have a cat flap, and when the rescue was told she liked to go outside that may not have been the full story
Oh I dream of a ground floor with a catio. I look down with envy on two bungalows, I know inside they are slightly smaller than my flat, although the kitchens are a little bigger, but they already come with a 6ft wall and it would be incredibly easy even as a council rent to add netting and viewing posts to cover the whole thing. Boo always wanted to explore the world beyond our front door. Molly after 8 years is beginning to get brave and explore the stairwell, though she hasn't since the episode 3 weeks ago when I had to rescue her from one floor below.

In fairness I believe USA homes tend to be significantly larger than the average modest UK home. I guess your cottage must be similarish to my one bedroom flat, it's about 50 square metres total - and the rooms are a good size compared to modern builds. My mother's old people ghetto (as she calls it) has one person and two person flats, all one bedroom but the room size differs. She pays extra for two, and it's still smaller than mine, the kitchen is much better though. Why am I so fixated on kitchens? Because I have 3 wall cupboards and 2 bottom cupboards and one drawer. It just makes taking on a cat and giving it enough enrichment more of a challenge.

But yes one thing after another is slowly changing my mind. In the two fatal incidents, nobody has been caught, and people deliberately killing cats is quite a big difference from a dog attack. The people's other cat is still going out as always, I don't think she is stoppable, but the one that was attacked never went out much anyway and may never do again after this. I still can't believe she came out of her hiding place willingly, what a sweet and trusting little soul.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Positive news, cat has had her op today and is already sitting up, and is going home tomorrow.
I kept Snoop's crate just because you don't chuck something like that in case you need it again ... I had no idea it might be needed so soon!

Aren't they just incredible? A human would be looking at months of rehab.

She's not my cat but I feel quite emotional.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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I am so glad she is doing well - both owners must be devastated.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Great news that she is doing well.

I'm sure her owner would be surprised at how many people are now routing for her and wishing her the best.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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For a while fjm it looked like the dog's owner was genuine, but what the cat's owner told me last night sadly reconfirms my first impressions at the scene. Although he is making a 3rd party claim on his dog insurance and gave the right phone number and so appears to be doing the right thing, his true colours are not far from the surface. "It's only a cat" apparently and he doesn't like to put his dog on a lead, so I can't imagine it will be wearing a muzzle either.

The cat's owner is well connected and I hope she has more luck following this through than we did when our dog was attacked by a much larger dog that broke its tether to rush from the far side of a small park to attack our dog who was trotting along off the lead as always minding his own business in the general direction of away. The dog warden advised us that even if we found out who the owners were (they were even less friendly than their dog) a court would most likely rule against us because our dog was off the lead. On investigation it appears the police don't get involved unless it's livestock or a service dog. So nobody wants to know about a dangerous dog until it actually does attack a person or service dog. What else can we do than let everyone know locally? I'm now looking at all the missing cat posters and wondering if that really was the dog's first attack.

Anyway little one is home as of lateish last night, I have an invite to pop in and visit though I would have thought she'd want to rest, but I'm told she is on the sofa and settling very well. Now I just wish I could explain to my own dog that kitty is fine, because he was there and he's the one who always wants to look after everyone and break up fights. He's been quite off ever since but what could I do, I had to get him away as the cat would never have come out from under the car with him there!!
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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I do wonder about some pet owners, and it does seem to be dog owners in particular, that want the dog as a status symbol rather than as a beloved pet. If they have that attitude to a family's pet cat, I really can't believe they love their own pet that much or they would understand the hurt caused, both physical to the cat, and mentally to the owners, I guess we should just be glad they gave the right telephone number and are putting in a claim.

I still remember one time when I was in my teens, I took a lunging whip to a farm dog that had grabbed a kitten, just a single strike but enough to startle it into dropping the kitten. I had just finished a lunging session with a horse and was just about to put everything away (the horse was already back in his stable) when I spotted the dog grab the kitten, i didn't think twice, that whip was straight across the dogs flank, hard enough to sting and make it drop the kitten, but not hard enough to do any damage. I had been taught to use that whip, my riding instructor insisted I could take a tennis ball off a traffic cone nine times out of ten before she would let me use it on a horse, something I never faulted her for, and she understood my reaction to the dog grabbing the kitten, it may only have been a barn kitten, but they weren't really feral and the punishment was instant, grab kitten, get hurt, not 10 minutes after the event so there is no association with the cause and punishment. I know many people won't like the idea of taking a whip to a dog, but I've never really regretted what I did. Would I do it again, probably not, I'm well out of practice, and my eyes aren't as good as they used to be, I couldn't guarantee hitting the dog firmly on the flank and i wouldn't want to risk doing any harm by missing my spot.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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I completely understand and there is a huge difference between a disciplinary flick and an abusive beating. In an emergency situation, you do what needs to be done to save a life with minimum collateral damage. Snoop gets a sharp smack when he has done the same serious thing wrong several times in the same walk, it's lighter than the playfighting wallops and doesn't hurt physically, but the message behind it that he has incurred his hooman's disapproval, that stings in his mind and he minds his ps and qs for a while.

My other half who has had dogs al his life has unhesitatingly taken a dog straight to the vets to be pts for one bite, he says once they have had blood in their mouth you can never trust them. I don't know. I don't think I ever trust any dog more than 99% not even ours. he thinks the guy won't be showing his face around here for a while, I'm not so sure given that he seems to think there's nothing wrong with letting his dog do that.

Anyway on a brighter note at the owner's insistence I have been over to visit Tiggy and omg she is just amazing. Headbutts and purrs, all dopey and wide eyed, but utterly scrummy and one very lucky kitty. their whole living room is converted for the hopalong cat's convenience and comfort, which makes me smile because it's not my living room for a hopalong dog any more.

I'm not having nightmares but I am, as they call nervous dogs, hypervigilant, nervous, oversensitive and scared.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Vet is really pleased with kitty's progress already, just 2 days after the surgery and 3 days after the attack.

A very big thank you to the wonderful Cat Chatters who put about Lick-e-lix as a way of getting meds into cats, it works for her and with a big list of drugs after an operation like that, it's going to be a huge help for them.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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They really are amazing animals, a human would be laid up for weeks, a couple of days and a cat is already up and about and on the road to recovery.

Lick e Lix worked for so long with Tiggy and her meds, but recently she has gone off them, fortunately she has taken to Whiskars cat milk and will take her Bisolven powder in that. Its a constant trial to keep finding things she will take it in, cats will be cats in the end and we just have to try and adapt as fast as they do to things.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Seems kitty i got wise to the meds in the Lick-e-lix too, she is refusing it now. The ever growing list of things that don't work! Dogs are so easy. Mine watches me put the pills into a piece of sausage and eats it anyway.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Yes - dogs are much easier. Poppy-dog jumps up and down reminding me when it is time to stuff her pills into a piece of chicken. Fortunately Pippin-cat really likes his Zoton antibiotic and eats it as a treat, and his meloxicam is adequately disguised in a little bit of strongly flavoured food - at the moment Felix cat soup. Might be worth a try for the Tiggys - cheap and widely available.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Felix soup good thinking.

I suspect she may be like Molly, you get one go at each thing and then she's wisened up. And we don't know how long she has to be on meds for, she is being given a couple of days at a time and going back for checks that often.

I have spent my evening walk yesterday and morning walk today letting people know, without slating or blaming anyone, just saying what has happened and that it seems the dog doesn't know it's wrong and that the owner doesn't want to use a muzzle or lead - not say8ing he isn't going to, but doesn't want to. I hope I'm being balanced, fair and most of all restrained as I have a partner here who says if that was his dog it would have been pts the same afternoon and I have realised I'm quite a bit more traumatised than I seemed at the time.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Personally I don't agree that the dog needs pts, (I'll keep my opinions about the owner to myself), it sounds like it needs some decent training and being taken out on a lead until it leans to to what it is told. I know this may be a bit two faced as I would never expect a cat to do what it is told and I'm happy for cats to run free to do what they want. I know a cat can do damage if it bites someone, but they are less likely to attack in general, unless of course you are looking small and mouse like.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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That's the thing though, cats very rarely attack unprovoked. I simply don't know dogs well enough to have an opinion either way, I see the "red zone rehabilitation" cases and I understand OH's standpoint too. What I do know, I've seen it a few times including once our own dog, is just how quickly they form a pack and can work as a team to face something they would never take on alone - and I find that frightening.

As for the owner, I would happily do him some harm. I don't mind anyone not liking cats, they aren't everyone's saucer of tuna, but to have so little empathy that he can't respect another family's animal being as much a part of their family as his dog is of his, that is beyond me and the reason I feel people need to know, because the dog not knowing he has done anything wrong is what makes him so dangerous. He's not aggressive or nasty, his boundaries have been laid out for him in all the wrong places. I can think of several fates depicted in Pulp Fiction that might help this guy become a better citizen. He has kids for goodness' sake, how is he bringing them up?

Anyway cheerful note again, the vet is really very impressed with her positive progress. I'm in absolute awe of her, she is such a sweet gentle and brave little soul.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Kitty has her stitches out tomorrow, her dressing came off yesterday. Today she was trying to get out of the window (she rarely went out before and her owner was hoping she would choose not to after this) and Sunday she was bombing around her house faster on three legs than she ever did on four. They are astounding little critters.
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Re: Dog attack (not mine)

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Impressive, and I'm so glad she is doing well, may be not so glad she hasn't learnt her lesson and decided to stay inside, but cats will be cats.

Pass on my best wishes to her owner and a quick fuss to the kitty, assuming she will enjoy it, if not then fair enough i wouldn't want to force it on her.
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