The Tale of Nip, Best Friend's Veterinary Hospital's House Cat

Nip the cat arrived at Best Friends Veterinary Hospital in September 2003. Cindi from Cozy Cat Cottage had rescued her from the Wal-Mart parking lot. She had an old wound on her left rear leg that was not healing. Cindi brought her to us to clean and suture the area and give her a clean bill of health. After a lengthy surgery and some routine testing Nip was on her way back to Cozy Cat. Everything had gone well and it looked as if Nip would be ready to hit the adoption floor in no time. Unfortunately, her wound began opening back up. It seemed that infection had set in and just one kind of antibiotic wouldnt do the trick. Cindi brought Nip back for a second surgery, this time we kept her in the hospital for several days. When we finally sent her back it only took 48 hours for the wound to begin opening once more. For her third surgery, Dr. Riggs made a very large incision (almost like a skin graft) and covered the infected area with fresh healthy tissue. Once again Nip spent a very long time in the hospital. We were using 2 different types of heavy duty antibiotics and she had to wear an e-collar 24 hours a day.


Since Nip had been spending so much time at Best Friends, the staff was becoming quite attached to her, Andrea especially. After this third surgery Andrea organized with several staff members a rotating schedule for people to come in a take care of her over the weekend. Unbeknownst to the Doctors, Andrea was formulating a plan to make Nip Best Friends house cat.


Once again Nip's incision began opening and she was going to require surgery. At this time Andrea approached the Doctors about keeping her as our clinic pet. Surprisingly they had no problem with it and long as we all took equal care of her and she wouldnt be locked up all day. Apparently they were unaware of how a clinic cat worked, Nip gets to rule the hospital and there will be no locking her up! So under anesthesia once more she went. This time we cultured the area and when Dr. Riggs placed all of the sutures he used some tubing to stabilize the skin and hold the sutures better. This surgery was looking like it might be her last chance. Fortunately for Nip (and for us) this final surgery and the super heavy-duty antibiotics that we had to purchase from the human pharmacy for a couple hundred dollars worked! She still had to wear the e-collar for a couple of months because we didnt want her to clean the surgical area too much.


Now that things were going in the right direction we purchased her a regular litter box and some toys, and of course some cat beds. She had to go to bed at night in one of the large cages so that she wouldnt set the motion detectors off, but during the day she had free range of the place. Initially, Nip spent a lot of her time in the Doctors office, but as she got more and more comfortable she would spend more time in the treatment area checking things out. When we moved into our new building, we made our lounge the area where she spends the night. She pretty much has free range in the whole middle part of the building and she loves being able to look out the windows. Every morning when we get in she runs to the sink in the treatment area so she can have a fresh drink directly from the faucet. In the afternoons she likes to "help" when we clean instruments and wrap our surgical packs. She usually gets evicted because she is really no help at all. We hold her and love her and pet her and she is such a Diva. She acts like she absolutely hates all of the attention, but we know she loves us and we love her so much!

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