The coldest weather of this young year is sweeping into our area this morning, bringing with it fierce northwest winds and intense snow squalls. Our overnight lows are expected to drop slightly below zero (-1° to -5°) with windchills of 15-25 degrees below zero. Our previous coldest morning low this month was +4° on January 22. In our area the average coldest temperatures of the year should range between +5° and -5°, so it appears we will be right on the mark again in 2019 for the fifth consecutive year. It has certainly been cold enough over the past week to make us more than happy to stay indoors where we can bask in the warmth of our wood cook stove and pellet stove. That works for Barb and me, but Calli is spending all of her time dreaming about the time when she can go outdoors again.
Calli has been sentenced to remain indoors by her vet, Dr. William Kittleberger of the Mill Creek Animal Hospital in Petersburg, as we try to rid her of a Pasteurella infection in one of the bones of her left rear foot. She contracted the infection from a bite that punctured one of her bones. We noticed that she was spending a lot of time licking the initial wound about a month ago, but we soon noticed additional lesions forming on her leg. We took her to the vet’s office on January 9 to determine what was causing the open sores on her leg. After taking some x-rays of the leg, he found the bone puncture and obvious signs of infection in the bone. We took her back to see him on January 17 so he could open the wound and obtain some cultures of the infection to determine the cause. He then put a pink cast on her leg and gave her a prescription to begin treating the infection. She had to wear the cast until he removed it on January 25. She was ordered to remain indoors after her surgery until we can get the infection under control.
Calli did not know what to do about the cast for the eight days that she wore it. I think she blamed it for her banishment from the outdoors, where she loves to spend nearly all of her daylight hours regardless of the weather. Calli chewed on it frequently and flicked her foot in a futile effort to shed it. It was bad enough to be sentenced to spend her days indoors, but the added embarrassment of the pink cast she was forced to wear was almost more than she could bear. After it was removed on January 25, she began to relax, and she found it easier to accept her ongoing incarceration. However, she was fascinated by the sudden loss of fur on her leg. She may be glad she didn’t have to wear a body cast.
Having lost the annoying pink cast, Calli has resumed many of her former indoor antics and hijinks she performed during her kitten period, including trying to jump through our dining room window to catch goldfinches at the feeder, chasing her jingle balls around the house, and curling up in front of the front porch door with a stuffed toy of her choice. Her current favorites include a fluffy yellow mouse that looks more like a baby hedgehog and a catnip-filled mouse that Barb made for her this past Christmas. Her only disappointment came when she realized she had grown too big to fit inside one of Barb’s shoes.
Although Calli is gradually resigning herself to her indoor life, she doesn’t realize that it is only temporary. If her current treatments appear to be effective at her next scheduled visit on February 4, Dr. Kittleberger may clear her to resume her outdoor activities. Since the weather is forecasted to be much warmer then, I wouldn’t want to be standing in her way when we open the door for her for the first time in more than two weeks. That could be cause for another hospital trip, only I can assure you it won’t be to the animal hospital.