Veterinary Homeopathy

We Don’t Know Desdemona

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Dessy, as her owner calls her, is 7 when I see her for the second time. She lives in a 25 cats household. Her owners are breeders and were desperate to have a litter of kittens of her. (She is a British Short Hair.)

After having stayed several times with the various stud cats of the family, she finally produced a litter at the age of three. At the time of birth she pushed and pushed and ended up having a caesarean section. ‘She was beside herself after the caesarean. She had to stay on a drip at the vets for a day because she developed bad mastitis‘.

(Mastitis in cats is always a serious condition.)

Two weeks after her caesarean section, I see her because after conventional treatment the inflammation in the mammary gland had not settled and she is still not fully recovered. The anamnesis at that time goes as follows:

She was with the male many times before she was pregnant but we are not sure whether she was really mated because she was very aggressive with the stud cats.

She is an aggressive and grumpy person. She will hiss and spat at you and you have to be careful with her. She doesn’t love you she just tolerates you.

Every time after she came back from being with the stud cat she would mother some of the older kittens. She is happy then. She would not tolerate the really small kittens. (There are usually other queens with kittens in the household all year long.)

She was also happy when she finally was in kitten herself. One of the foetuses of the pregnancy was mummified (not very common). One of her mammary glands was hot and hard at the time of the caesarean. There was never any secretion from this gland when it was inflamed (unusual). She would still allow the kitten to drink from her glands.

She refuses her normal treats (chicken, fish, prawns) and prefers smoked ham on the moment.

Even now after the caesarean and with the hard mammary gland she still likes you to rub her tummy. It is always a battle to put her in a pet carrier or take her to one of the pens when she stays with a male.

It was the most aggressive of the males that finally mated her.

She has always been a private sneaky little cat. It is like we don’t know her.’

I use the following rubrics for repertorisation:

  • Mind; secretive, reserved
  • Chest, milk non pregnant women (to illustrate her interest in kittens after each ‘mating’)
  • Chest inflammation, mammary gland
  • Gen, swelling, hard, glandsNose, dry, heat during (to illustrate the absence of secretion from the diseased mammary gland)

I choose to give Belladonna 30, 2 doses twice per day for 2 days and the mammary problem disappears altogether in short time.

Four years later, Dessy is back in the consultation room. The complaint is a poor coat and scratching around the neck. (On regular occasions there are cats in this household that scratch themselves in a similar way. This is likely related to the stress of living in a dense cat population. I have been called in several times to help the scratching individuals, some with success others I did not quiet achieve a satisfying result.)

This time the scratching individual is Desdemona.

The scratching usually happens around the neck area. The fur is scratched off and there are raw patches.

Dessy had been spayed since previous episode. In the consultation room she sits still against the wall in a corner under my table during the whole time of the consultation without showing any interest, fear or other emotion.

In the house she keeps mostly to one bedroom. It is the bedroom of the thugs (= where most of the tough cats spend their time).

She is still bonded with her mother. She has no other friends, she never plays. She is insular.

She was very depressed after her last kitten died. When you kiss her head she hisses: leave me alone! She doesn’t run off, she just sits there and watches the other cats. She used to be more assertive, now she just tends to walk off. She looks less secure now.

She has angry eyes. But there is no reaction when you pick her up. Since she has lost some of her confidence, she is more in the living room and at times looks terrified and runs away like a little hedgehog. She has become timid, she was assertive before.

She used to be on the top of the pecking order: you did not mess with Desdemona.

I think she never got over the fact that her mother pushed her out at the age of 9 weeks.

She is not happy, she has never been a happy cat. You can stroke her but there is no emotion: she doesn’t purr.

It may all have started when she saw one of the other cats in the room having a fit and becoming stuck between the wall and the bed.’

I benefited at the time of the consultation from having just studied the remedy I prescribed.

What did strike me in the case was the following:

– The long standing issues: ‘she never got over his mother pushing her out at the age of 9 weeks.’ ‘They think the problem stated after seeing a cat having a terrible fit a while ago.’

– The fact that the owner said they actually don’t know her: she is a much closed person which is obvious from the various descriptions offered.

– The whole case has an aspect of complete immobility, it is only the very aggressive male that manages to make her conceive.

– Not having got over being kicked out by mother can be interpreted in different ways. In this case it would make sense that it is interpreted as if she does not want change: she wanted to stay as she was: a kitten and her mum. (In other cases, remedies like, Puls, Lac-h, Lac-d, Abrot, Aeth, Chocolate and Mag-c may be thought off for consequences of sudden weaning)

– The mothering of the kittens after each time with the male (mated or not?) can be an other illustration of the refusal to change: does she ‘pretend’ she does not need to be pregnant ‘to have kittens’?

– During the whole consultation she sits in a corner and does nothing.

Guajacum 30 for 3 days, improvement in 24 hrs.

Two months later, she relapses a little. For this she receives a new 30C dose which acts within a few days.

Three months down the line she is back to her confident self being top cat. She is not only back to her confident self but also more interested in what happens in the house, participating in the daily routines and being more integrated than ever.

Guajacum is made from the resin of the Lignum-Vita tree. The tree produces the hardest commercially available wood. Amongst other, it is used in machines because its resin is self lubricating.

This hardness of the wood is reflected in the immobility of the guajacum patient. They refuse to change (remedy for growing pains) but they have too keep their eyes open to see, they have to know and everything then appears narrow because they prefer to stay within their own perfection. (Masi, 95)

I also remember a case study by G Vithoulkas. He explained that the patient suffered from a deep seated, forgotten/hidden frightful experience involving a relative. In this case, it was suspected that Dessy went downhill after experiencing an upsetting episode when one of the other cats had a very bad epileptic fit.

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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