looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

Shoulda been a vet

Everything happened at once. Lisa was on the phone to a work associate, then the other line rang. It was Toni-from-across-the-road. Before I could understand what she was saying, someone began knocking at the front door.

"That'll be Linda," said Toni on the phone. "She's in trouble - it's Alex - he's stabbed himself or something. She needs help!"

It took me a while to remember that Alex is a cat. A a graceful and beautiful Abyssinian with a penchant for getting into trouble.

"Ok, I'm going," I said, and put the phone down. "I'm going out," I yelled to Lisa. "Emergency!"

It was indeed Linda at the door, looking flustered. "He's under the bed, stuck!" she said, as we trotted across the road to Toni-and-Linda's house.

Her bedroom was a mess, with bedclothes and matress tossed aside, bed askew. "He's under that far corner," wailed Linda. "Should we lift the bed up?"

"Hang on, let me take a look," I said, flopping down between the far wall and the bed. I peered under the spring box. There was Alex, looking very uncomfortable. He had all four legs on the ground, but part of him was stretched up like silly putty and tangled in one of the mattress springs. I guessed it was *possible* that he was just caught, but the tension seemed to indicate an impalement. I felt with my fingers amongst the coils of the spring, speaking softly to Alex to calm him down. "Hey, Alex, you have had some fun here. Now you're in a fix. Let's see how much trouble you got yourself into..." He was purring madly but it was from stress and confusion, not contentment.

Sure enough, I felt the sharp end of the spring, and a flap of Alex's skin well and truly hooked on it.

"Let me think for a bit," I said to Linda, who, pumped with adrenalin, was ready to flip the heavy bed over to rescue her cat. "It looks as though he crawled up and over one of the slats here, and hooked himself on this end of the spring. If we could push him back over the slat, he might slip loose, but Alex isn't going to co-operate and we might make his injury worse. The spring is fastened to the slat with a couple of u-shaped staples... Can you bring me a large, flat bladed screwdriver?"

Linda came back in a few seconds with the tool. My plan was to pop the staple off the slat, freeing one end of the spring, which could then be twisted around on its axis, un-hooking Alex in the process.

The staple was tight, and so was the space in which I had to work, but moving the bed at this point was really going to hurt Alex. At one point the screwdriver slipped and made a noise, and Alex freaked and tried to run away, scrabbling at the carpet and stretching his, er, connection with the bed in a way that didn't look good. I grabbed him and settled him down, before returning my attention to the staple.

After a minute, the staple eased out, and rotating the spring had the desired effect, as Alex popped free and darted for the door before I could even get myself upright.

After a frantic chase around the house, Alex was cornered and we checked out the damage. Yup, he's got a couple of holes in his side, and will definitely need the attention of a professional.

I returned to our house and went back to work. More on the story of Alex as it develops.

Alex Update
The following day

Toni called in last night to report on Alex's progress. He had a five-inch gash in his side, some muscle damage, no harm done to any internal organs. He's sedated and at the vets. The vet said that as he doesn't have stripes, probably when the stiches heal and are taken out, we won't be able to see the scar.

He is a crazy cat. We're so glad he doesn't live with us.

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