Veterinary Homeopathy

Cool Charles, The Cat

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To add to the questions on acute and chronic treating I would like to tell you the story of Charles.

Charles is a cat of ordinary origin. He lives in a peaceful and happy household among a variety of other cats, dogs, geese, ducks and chickens nearly all rescued by his very caring and concerning owner.

When I saw him he was 9 years old. His regime of tablets consisted of 35 mcg of digoxin every 36 hours and 20 mg of diuretics twice per day. He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure six months prior (heart enlarged on X-ray). He had suffered a number of episodes of heart problems over three months which developed in chronic heart suffering for 5 months before I saw him.

In between the initial episodes, at a time he was well, he displayed a bout of severe vertigo for 2 hrs early one morning after jumping of a chair. The episode stopped when the owner picked him up and ‘shook him’.
His heart troubles manifested themselves with the classic cough, exercise intolerance and increased respiratory rate one would expect.

‘Recently a strange black cat got in the house and frightened all the cats. Later Charles was mistaken for him and was attacked by my other cats. This happened when he was already ill. (The owner does not know whether this episode had any effect on his illness.)’

‘He spends most of his time crouched on his chair. He sits tucked up, he is not resting. Any exercise causes him to be out of breath. It is unsure whether the medicines have any effect on him.’

At some point the digoxine needed to be reduced because he lost his appetite.

‘Charles is a placid cat. He has a lovely nature. His mother was found dead in the garden and I hand reared him from the age of 5 weeks. He thinks I am his mother.

He is like a child and wants to be carried like a child but not any more since he is ill. His sister is far more independent than him.

He seems effeminate, there is a sort of gayness about him, other people commented on this as well. He has a high pitched mew and a dandy way of walking. After he had a real bad patch 2 months ago he is better now. A week ago he caught a mouse.

He is very nice natured to the other cats. He minds his own business.
He is trying to tolerate his problem. . He is not anxious. He is laid back and chilled out. Even after his very bad night lately, he was tranquil the next day. He is brave and stoical. He doesn’t need personal space.
He is friends with the dogs and the geese. He has always been chilled out.
He was bitten by an adder twice and nearly died.’

I ask about what happened the first time he showed symptoms of heart failure:
‘He was panting and was restless for a few hours and then settled down again. Since he has been hospitalised he does not like coming to the surgery any more.’

The consultation goes on for a long time but there is not much more I can obtain from the owner so I have to do with what is available.

The whole tone of the consultation is rather relaxed. Although Charles is suffering with a serious disease, as soon as the crisis is over he is not that worried. Even when he sits crouched on his chair (seemingly suffering from his uncomfortable heart) there is never any talking of him being anxious. ‘He was bitten twice by an adder and nearly died’ …and the owner does not say more about this. This adds further to the relaxed atmosphere in the presence of serious disease.

Charles is cool with everybody: he is friendly with the other cats, the dogs an even the geese. (Geese are not usually that friendly with cats.) He even has a cool name for a cat. (in reality his name is even cooler than Charles).
At nine, he still wants to be carried around by mum.

This all feels like Sulphur to me: nothing worries Charles much, after every acute episode he soon returns to his usual self. Even when displaying heart problems he still went out catching a mouse. He doesn’t even need personal space. That is an unusual thing to say about a cat, to me that signifies that even when the others are around, everything is his personal space anyway. This agrees with a typical aspect of Sulphur being the centre of the world and not being worried about the conditions needed to be the centre of the world or the consequences of this position. Sulphur does not think about this position, it is just where Sulphur is.

When I see that sulphur is present in the rubric, Mind, Carried, desire to be carried (1) there is an extra reason to use this remedy. (The fact that he did not wanted to be carried when he was unwell may have to do with the discomfort caused by the position on the owners’ shoulders.)

For his dainty behaviour we could use the rubric, Mind, coquettish, too much. (1)
Charles received two doses of a few drops of Sulphur in 30 diluted in water 12 hrs apart.
He picks up in a few days and his life returns back to normal in a short time.

During the following four months the owner cautiously and gradually reduces his medicines to stop them all together.
His conventional medicines have now been stopped for more than a year and Charles is perfectly fine. He has not needed any more doses of Sulphur.

During the 18 months after the taking of the remedy, I receive regular updates: Charles is always fine and himself displaying normal cat exercise.

About the author

Edward De Beukelaer

Edward De Beukelaer, DVM mrcvs, practices classical homeopathy for animals in the UK (Wiltshire and Gloucestershire). 5 St David's Way Marlborough SN8 1DH 07786213636 c/o Riverside Veterinary Centre, Marlborough, Wiltshire, 0167205140875 Severnside Veterinary Group, Lydney, Gloucestershire, 01594 842185 Visit his websites: and

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