superdumb supervillain: Zombie Chunk (or How to Spend $600 at the Vet)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Zombie Chunk (or How to Spend $600 at the Vet)

Superchunk has been a scrappy cat ever since we first found him. Bob heard him meowing plaintively from a schoolyard under construction. It had been very rainy and everything was flooded. Chunk was stuck inside the gate, wet and cold and hungry with a leg that had been munched on by dogs. He was scrawny and dirty and his poor leg was bloody and oozing pus. So, obviously, Bob called me to come pick them up. Our vet thought they might have to amputate his leg and I think Bob was secretly relishing the need to build some kind of wheelie cart for a three-legged cat. Luckily, the infection hadn't quite festered enough to become gangrenous and Chunklestein was able to keep all of him limbs. The vet found a BB healed over under his skin, even. Chunk had some war wounds, for sure.

Seven years later, Chunk is still a fighter. Although our cats are primarily indoors, we have about three acres of fenced yard that they like to patrol. Chunk has made it his personal mission to keep all of the other neighborhood cats out of our domain. It's amazing that such a sweet, mild-mannered kitty can be such a terror! Unfortunately, he keeps taking his knocks. Notches in his ear, infected cat bites and scratches, etc. The latest damage looked like a superficial scratch on his forehead on Friday and by Sunday, he had a golf ball sized infection over his eye, swelling it shut. (Did I mention that he almost always sustains these injuries on weekends, when the vet clinic is closed?) I didn't photograph it because I was worried about him and, to be honest, the smell was rancid… believe it or not, these "after" pictures (taken post drainage and antibiotics) look significantly better even with the rotting skin and open sores. (Click each picture for frighteningly lifelike size and detail.) My poor little zombie Chunk!

I'm trying to focus on his pretty eyes…

To be fair, the vet bill did include Piewackett's vaccinations and blood tests that have determined she's got a hyperthyroid condition which will necessitate medication for the rest of her life. Makes me not even want to take them to the doctor. Groan.


  1. Oh gosh! The battles they get into... Makes me glad ours are 100% indoor. I remember we had an outdoor cat growing up "Softy" - she was a scrapper! Always seemed to have a new battle wound, poor dear.

  2. Our Licorice had one of those golf-ball-sized knots. Anyone who thinks she's exaggerating, she's not. And she's not kidding about the smell either. Good lord it's horrible.

    Ours needed staples and a drain for three weeks. I had to bring him back to the vet to get them removed. He wasn't real interested in going back, so it was an exciting half-hour trying to corner him. Ever since then, he runs away whenever I walk into the room.

  3. Aw, poor kitty! =( Man, $600... INSANE!
    Something similar happened to one of our male cats when I was growing up. We couldn't afford a vet bill, so we used hot compresses on it until it finally opened. It was DIS.GUS.TING! Thankfully he healed alright without antibiotics. It was seriously nasty though.
    Glad your kitty is healing now!

  4. Oh wow, the poor kitty! That must hurt! Huge vet bill, yikes! I am glad he is healing and sorry to hear another will be on lifetime meds.

  5. My now-deceased cat Friday once got one of those huge pus infected golf balls, after getting a puncture wound from another cat. And naturally, that was on a Friday night too.

    Oscar just had an eye infection on Christmas even (of course) where his eye swelled shut for lord knows what reason. Thankfully it cleared up with saline drops before Monday. I was holding out on taking him to the vet until then.

    Superchunk. Used to love that band...whatever happened to them? Hope your chunk feels better! Those eyes are so cool.

  6. I just want to commend you for taking care of The Chunk. I know there are pet owners who don't seem to "get" that their sick or injured animals are in pain every bit as much as humans are and need the best attention their humans can afford. This past summer my sister rescued a small dog, age 13 (!) who had been left at the animal shelter because her owners were moving and didn't want to take her along. The dog seemed crabby and had a foul odor to her. We took her to the vet, who diagnosed severe dental disease. The poor dog had several teeth removed and took antibiotics for 10 days but is now a different animal: bouncy and scrappy, despite her age. My sister was broke so I paid nearly $700 for this medical care, but the dog needed it to live pain-free. If we're going to have pets, we have to take care of them. It's the least we can do for all they give to us. Good for you! the Chunk is lucky.

  7. Oh no. If it's not one; it's another. Poor big guy, he sure is lucky you took him to the doctor.

    I think we've got the same number cats now, don't we? We've got five and someone always seems to need some sort of medical attention. I really wish the health insurance they have for cats would include life's everyday mishaps.
    And his eyes are beautiful.

  8. You just don't know what you are getting into with a pet! My cat lived for 21 years, that is longer than many marriages!


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