To be owned by a cat is almost as responsible a job as being owned and tyrannized over by a child, and cats, moreover, are very difficult beings to treat when they are ill as they don’t tell you anything and are so passive, so lacking in spunk that they just as life die as make a fight for it, as dogs invariably do. You have to watch the feline tribe very carefully, both in health and disease or they quietly slip out of your life without much ado. I expect it is because they are secretive and always like to walk by themselves, that they manage to be almost dead before you have realized that they are ill. We had many alarms and excursions with “our Tim”. One of the nearest shaves we had was last winter, when being in the throes of a domestic upheaval, and the latest one being a particularly unpleasant type of the “femina domestica” who neglected and drove the poor cat out of doors in the worst kinds of weather. Nobody had been told of his refusal to touch his food until it was palpable even to the lay mind that something very serious was up. Tim refused to stir from his armchair, for days he just lay drowsily stretched out, would not touch any tit bits that were offered him. He passed by the dainty morsels of best English steak and liver which he could never resist as a rule. He turned his nose up at rich creamy milk and only wished to be left alone. All the normal body functions seemed to be at a standstill, and he rapidly wasted away in a few days until he was but skin and bones and so weak he could barely open his eyes or open his mouth and swallow his food. He had to be forcibly fed twice a day by hand. Two ounces of raw meat were cut up fine and pushed far back down his throat, or he would just let it slide out of his mouth again. He was also given a spoonful of warm milk with a dash of brandy in it.
There were very few symptoms except this utter laziness, this refusal to stir, this absolute do-nothing attitude and a refusal to be kept warm. He is naturally a beast who adores the warmest place. On these few symptoms he was given Sulphur 30 night and morning and then Sulphur m. daily for nearly a fortnight. When he was at his worst he weighed less than 7 lbs., the normal weight being 10 1/4 lbs. After a fortnight of anxiety he decided it was no good to resist any more and he started to eat again, and once he liked the taste of food again he became so ravenous that he soon more than made up his loss of weight. One saw in the papers that at that time there was a general epidemic of cat influenza in the neighbourhood and practically 100 per cent. Died, so once again homoeopathy and careful nursing and hand feeding saved a life, even though it might be only that of a dumb animal.
Some time afterwards we had another alarm. The poor beast had to be sent to a vets to be boarded while his mistress went on a long-needed holiday. He came back somewhat jaded and rather worse for wear, having lost 1/2 lb. in weight. Worse was to follow, one day soon after his return, a large bald patch was noticed on his back, a round circular patch by this time the size of a five shilling piece and there was the ominous red scaly line on the circumference. Alas! It was nothing else but the dreaded ringworm of the hair. What to do was the question. Send him back to the vet or treat him at home? It was decided to give homoeopathy a chance again, and on studying Jahrs Forty Years Practice, a very valuable old homoeopathic book full of the most useful practical hints, we found this suggestion of painting a ringworm patch with oil of lavender and apply the indicated remedy as well.
Unfortunately we found the ringworm had spread a good deal further besides the large bare patch, but, nothing daunted, the treatment was begun. The remedy chosen was the favourite one of the late Dr. Burnett’s for ringworm, namely Bacillinum 30, which was given twice a week at first and then once weekly. He responded very nicely, for which thanks be to old Jahr and Burnett for their pearls of wisdom.
The further spread of the skin disease was arrested at once, but it took about six weeks before the hair completely covered the bald patch. Baldness of the scalp due to X-ray treatment after ringworm takes six months before the hair covers the whole of the scalp again. This reminds me of a case of ringworm of the scalp in a child of seven years which one saw more than a decade ago. It had been treated scientifically for months without any sign of a cure, the hair was all off and yet the parasite was still there, so active indeed that the writer became infected and developed ringworm of the neck within a few days. This child was given Bacillinum 30 and later Bacillinum m., and within a week of the first dose his hair started to sprout and the scales disappeared, and no further sign of the parasite was found microscopically.
But ravenons a nos moutons or rather to our cats. As you have seen homoeopathy acts rapidly in cats. You only need to watch them carefully and then choose the indicated remedy. Skin diseases in cats are common enough, alas! They are such rovers and you cannot keep them away like you can dogs from other members of their tribe.
There was a beautiful black persian cat I knew who developed mange and her whole trunk was covered. The vet advised its destruction. Do they ever advise anything else for cats if there’s anything seriously the matter with pussy? The owner of the persian was willing to try homoeopathy and Sulphur 6 was given faithfully night and morning for several weeks followed by complete recovery.
One came across another cat in ones wanderings, a very old tabby, who had developed a nasty growth from his ear in the shape of a black curved horn about 2 inches long. He was given Thuja 30 daily doses for a week and the horn promptly fell off and had not recurred again six months later. One wishes that there were homoeopathic vets so that our pets could be saved instead of being destroyed prematurely.