Digglum Bestiaruim ~ The Digglers' Crest

The Digglers

The Cat Who Did Not Get On With Out Cats

The Digglers' Cat ~ Popsy (1) I obtained Popsy from the same cat sanctuary as Sammy P (2). Poppet was killed on the road (unfortunately, I have not got a photograph of her as she was not with me long). Sammy P loved Poppet and was heartbroken when she died. I therefore decided another companion was in order. That was when I got my beloved Popsy. At first Sammy P hated her but he became to tolerate Pops (short for Popsy) but they were never close. I took Pops to the vet to be spayed and was horrified to find that she was in kitten and indeed there were six! As Popsy had been at the sanctuary for some time, this must have happened there. I was not best pleased. Popsy enjoyed the Diggle environment and we became very close. She loved to sit by the stream and gaze into the water. Popsy however, was prone to depression. By then my cat population had grown considerably and if she was teased by another cat, this would start her depressive mood. She would sulk, not eat and just lie about. If I tried to stand her up, she would just flop over! These sulks would last for days. One time when she had a bad cold, she managed to get out. This was first thing in the morning whilst I was mucking out the horses and it was dark. When I was ready to go and there was no sign of her, I was worried and went to look for her. I found her in the next field, she had wandered over there but had no energy to get back. We were both very relieved as I picked her up and carried her home.

Popsy's Accident

Several years later, I was guilty of doing a very stupid thing. Twinky was having problems and had to stay with the vet over weekend. I decided to bring Pops home. She loved this but when Twinky returned she had to go back, consequently this threw her into a depression. Little did I know that it wouldn't be very long before she would be living with me permanently. This was due to tragic circumstances. Fortunately, I was there at the time. It was a lovely day and I had seen Popsy go out into the garden. I watched as she came in and went into the stable. Sammy Jo, went towards her as if to chase her. Popsy gave an almighty shriek and jumped out of the way and in doing so completed twisted her leg. There was a covering of deep straw on the floor for the horses. Poor Popsy was rolling about in agony. I rushed in and was convinced she had broken her leg. A quick phone call to the vet (it was a Sunday) and she was placed in a basket and off we set. I think I could have given Michael Schumacher a run for his money! Thank goodness there weren't any police just startled motorists! Arriving at the vets, it was diagnosed as a dislocated leg but an x-ray would have to confirm this. Popsy was in shock and a sedation was impossible. She would have to be hospitalised and that procedure done the following day. The next day it was confirmed and the leg was strapped and she could return. To Diggle, that was impossible so Popsy came to stay in the spare bedroom. To Pops that was bliss. She was not keen on other cats so to be in isolation was wonderful. Sadly, the leg did not heal and required an operation. My vet, Wendy had not performed this type of op before and she recommended a specialist that lived sixty miles away. I was gutted as I knew Popsy with her history of depressions would react very badly to the journey. Wendy, bless her said she would attempt the operation under guidance from the specialist. If unsuccessful, Pops would have to have the leg removed. I gave Wendy the go ahead and kept all my fingers crossed. To be successful the bone would have to be pinned. Later I received a call from Wendy asking me if I wanted the good news first or the bad. My heart sank. The good news was that the operation was successful, the bad was the bit from the end of the drill broke and was lodged in Popsy's leg. Wendy assured me that this would not cause any problems so it was with great joy that I collected Popsy and she was to live the rest of her life at home with me. Little did I know that the rest of her life was to be very short.

Popsy's Sad Demise

Popsy recovered very well from the trauma of the operation and made herself at home. I kept her away from Twinks (short for Twinky) and she was allowed to go in the garden when Twinky was in her bedroom.

About eighteen months later, Popsy began to suffer from stomach problems. I repeatedly took her to see Wendy but nothing seemed to help. Wendy suggested it could be her teeth as some were quite bad and consequently a dental was booked. Popsy did seem a lot better just after the dental but then slipped back into the same way being sick after eating food. She also suffer from terrible flatulence and for this Wendy had prescribed some charcoal which was in liquid form. On one occasion I administered it to Popsy she kept it in her mouth, I could see her cheeks getting bigger and bigger and at last she blew it all back in my face! I could forgive her anything!! I was extremely worried as I took her back to Wendy for some tests. That was the last time I would see my beloved Pops. A blood test was sent to Glasgow and Wendy phoned with the sad news that it came back positive for FIV (feline aids). Bless her, she even spoke to a professor to see if anything could be done. The answer unfortunately was no. Wendy said she could send Pops home with pain killers but she wouldn't be able to eat. I couldn't do that to Pops, she would only be kept alive for me and the quality of life for Pops would be very poor. I would rather me suffer the pain of losing Popsy than Popsy to suffer. It was with great sadness that I made the decision to have her put to sleep. Wendy suggested that I didn't come to visit her for the last time as Popsy would be too stressed. I asked Wendy to give her a last kiss from me and then I hung up. What I felt was too painful to describe.

Important Information For Cat Owners Discovered

Now, a lot of questions needed to be answered. I had, at least I thought, created a virus free environment at Diggle. All my cats had been tested for the FIV and the Leukaemia virus so why had Popsy got FIV? After questioning the original vet who did the testing. I got my answer. FIV works in a similar way to the human Aids virus. During the incubation period it would show negative on the test. After twelve weeks a retest should be conducted and if that is negative then the cat is clear. Why were cat owners not informed of this. I used my position as Chairwoman of Veterinary Vouchers Trust Fund to do some more questioning. Speaking to an American vet, their clients are aware of this as a notice is placed in their waiting reception area. Why not here? I contacted the pharmaceutical company that produces the test and they were not interested but I wouldn't give up. At last they said they would agree to that a notice be placed in surgeries. I wrote to the cat magazines with my experience and findings which they published (click here to read publication). To this day there is still no indication in surgeries. I suppose it is up to individual vets to inform their clients. I still have two questions. How many do and how many cat owners are aware of this testing procedure. Interesting?

Popsy The Cat's Poem

A wonderful friend for 9 years.

Popsy my little angel, must have been sent from heaven above.
Had she been sent because I hadn't been very good?
Whatever the reason her company for nine short years was sublime,
I miss her constantly every day and wish that she still was mine.