Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Fuzz that Duzz(n't)...

Sad Tora 4

Tora has been sick.

Our first real hint that something was up was when he walked into the front room while we were all watching TV, sat down in the middle of the carpet, and left a pile. That definitely got our attention.

Actually, he hadn't been well for a while. There is a cat in our neighborhood that is beautiful, white, and totally evil. He is obviously someone's pet, since he's not afraid of humans at all (unless I go at him with one of my air pistols, in which case he scampers away as fast as his white-furred butt can carry him). Back when Aka, my in-laws' cat, was still alive, that fluffy, snowy demon from hell used to come over almost every day and taunt him. Aka was far too old and slow (not to mention mild-mannered) to present any threat, so the lovely little fiend would swagger in a circle around him, tail held arrogantly high, caterwauling as if daring the elder cat to try anything. Aka would always just sit huddled in a ball looking defeated. (There was, however, one surprising occasion when Tora was still a kitten, and Aka chased the white cat away from him very aggressively.) Now Tora, being young, fit, and aggressive, immediately launches to the attack whenever the snow demon comes around. Unfortunately, he tends to get his butt kicked. The snow demon also seems to be fighting dirty these days; he immediately goes for the eyes. During the last week of August and first week of September there were at least three occasions when Tora came in after a scrap with his face around his eyes bloodied and swollen. Once he was in such awful shape, with one eye swollen shut and surrounded with obviously-infected wounds, that I took him to the vet and wound up leaving him there for almost a week. (Luckily, the vet is known to the family and didn't charge me a vital organ.) We kept him inside for a little while after that, but when he finally found his way outside he immediately showed up again with a bloodied eye.

Sad Tora 2

(You can see in this closeup the injury under his right eye, which has actually healed a lot. You can also see patches of missing fur on his nose, head, and over his left eye. It was much worse about a week ago; one whole side of his face was swollen.)

The pile on the carpet incident happened right after that. Things quickly got worse, too. For two days after that Tora stayed planted on my daughter's bed. He wouldn't eat anything, and it was all I could do to get him to drink a little water. His voice had gone completely hoarse, and his weepy eyes looked vacant. He also seemed to have trouble walking. To make matters worse, he used his kitty bed as a toilet, something he'd never done before. When I picked him up to try to relocate him I noticed that he was really hot. That meant it was vet time again.

My FIL took Tora to his favorite vet, whose clinic is a bit far from here. The vet reported that Tora had a temperature of 41 degrees Centigrade (about 106 degrees Fahrenheit), which is just as dangerous for cats as it is for humans. The diagnosis? A cold. (Why is it that doctors here in Japan always seem to say that?) Tora was given a shot and an I.V., and then he was sent home.

Tora recovered fairly quickly after that, and he was soon back to his usual affectionate (and sometimes annoying) self. However, the bloody wound next to his right eye not only reappeared but kept getting worse even though he had remained inside the whole time. I finally caught him in the act of scratching it, screaming every time he did so. Apparently that eye has been bothering him, and the wound is largely self-inflicted.

Sad Tora 5

I guess that means it's not entirely the white cat's fault.

That reminds me of another recent incident. Not so long ago, down in Fukuoka, a boy about my son's age was found strangled to death in a park where he had been playing. True to form, when the news broke, my FIL immediately freaked out over it and declared that my children were no longer to be allowed to go play with their friends. "You go straight to school," he railed (over and over and over again), "and come straight back! The rest of the time you stay here in the house! It's too dangerous out there! Children are dying!"

Guess what: the perpetrator in the Fukuoka crime turned out to be the child's mother. In fact, it seems like there have been a lot of child murders here recently that have turned out to have been committed by a parent or parents. Gee...does that mean that our kids should no longer be allowed to stay inside the house? Maybe they can spend all day out chasing the evil, white cat!

And just so you don't think this post is entirely negative, here are a few stock shots from the recent undokai (sports meet) at my kids' school:

2008 od Undokai 1

2008 od Undokai 2

2008 od Undokai 3

2008 od Undokai 4

2008 od Undokai 8

2008 od Undokai 12

2008 od Undokai 13


  • Can't beat kid's schools sports day - to lifet the mood.
    Glad pussy is fine too.

    By Blogger QUASAR9, at 11:28 PM  

  • Arrrrgh, maybe the cat needs an eye patch like a pirate so his eye can heal. In any case, give the little hearty a head scratch from me.

    Looks like a lively match on sports day. I hope the kids had lots o fun.

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 1:22 AM  

  • Oooohhhh... poor Tora.... good to know that he is Ok now. *hugs Tora*

    By Blogger Selba, at 9:49 AM  

  • *OOF!*

    Who was that?

    By Anonymous Tora, at 11:57 AM  

  • the sports event looks fun! what are some of the games?

    parents killing their children? is there some reason behind this? it seems odd to me that so many would be doing this. altho, it happens a lot in the states. i remember not long ago when a woman (can't remember her name) killed her two sons by running her car into a lake or some such, then told the police that her car had been carjacked by some black guys. when they found the boys, they were holding hands.

    it breaks my heart and i can't imagine a parent killing their child.

    i hope Tora starts winning some battles. we have cats in our neighborhood that are like this little white fluffy cat from hell.

    my eldest cat, frankie, has been sick since being attacked by this mean cat outside. he started losing weight and now is nothing but bones and hungry all the time. we're gonna take him to the vet. i figure he either has a worm, diabetes or is dying from kidney problem.... hopefully it's only a worm! can't figure out the correlation between the two events... but it seems like it started it.

    By Blogger Um Naief, at 4:10 AM  

  • Those are great pictures, Moody. I like the looks of your school.

    Regarding your FIL's apprehension about the kids being in the park--some people are just more fearful than others I guess. I was surprised to hear my neighbor say she's frightened to take a walk in the early morning, since it's still kind of dark. We live in a rural subdivision with a very low crime rate and what crime we have seems to be a little burglary. I do not believe I have ever read a report of someone being attacked on their morning walk. I mean, when I'm out walking, I see elderly men and women out on their own. And I seriously doubt they're packing heat.

    Poor Tora. I'm glad he's better. My daughter recently adopted a kitten from the pound, as you know. The little thing proceeded to get a horrible case of conjunctivitis and had to wear this cone around her head to prevent her from scratching her eyes. She looked so sad. But she's well now.

    By Blogger San, at 5:20 AM  

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