The lament reverberates up the stairs. In the kitchen crouches our tabby, mewling. Frisbee never mewls. He bypasses a brimming bowl of tuna. Frisbee never declines food. Evidently he is a cat in Darkest Misery. Then he cocks his leg for a cleansing and I glimpse a purpled puckered wound beneath his tail.
It is Sunday. I ring the RSPCA rescue centre, which rehomed him, and they advise the out-of-hours animal hospital. I ring the out-of-hours animal hospital and they advise that I speak to a consultant. I speak to a consultant and she fears a fox attack, an exploded abscess and a disabling infection and she urges us to hurry him in immediately.
And so I drive 12 miles to the hospital and pay £33 for an assessment and wait one hour for the consultant. And the consultant examines the alarmed cat’s undercarriage and pronounces her diagnosis: the ‘wound’ I glimpsed was his bottom!