CAT OF THE MONTH: Kotek Klopotek
Kotek Klopotek is an aging cat with Russian Blue heritage. His name means "little cat trouble" in Polish, and when he was younger he lived up to the monikor. Nowadays, he mostly sleeps on the kitchen chair, or loiters around the refrigerator hoping for a morsel to appear in his bowl.
One night, about two years ago, he started to choke on something. I had fed him a chicken bone a little earlier, and was worried that he had got a splinter lodged in his throat. We didn't have enough money to take him to vet, and it was the middle of the night, so we thought that perhaps he had reached the end of his ninth life. However, he made it through the night and stopped choking. After the incident he ate normally but couldn't meow properly--it just came out as a kind of muted squeak.
One day when I was petting kotek, I noticed a lump on the side of his throat. I figured that it might have been the chicken bone, still lodged there. Of course, this whole time I was feeling extremely guilty for feeding him the bone in the first place, but we still didn't have any money to take him to the vet.
A couple months after that, when I felt for the lump in his throat, I was startled to feel something sharp and metallic sticking out the side of his neck. Upon further inspection I found that, just like Frankenstein, he had some sort of screw sticking out just under his jaw! Somehow the cat had eaten a screw; it had lodged in his throat and then started to work its way out.I decided that at this point, since he had gone about four months with the screw in his neck, I would just let nature take its course and resolve the problem. Eventually, the screw just fell out of his neck, and the cat was fine. He got his voice back and remains, to this day, a living testament to the amazing resilience of Cats Who Eat Screws.
As the photos show, however, he was left with the problem of fending off my other cat, Tiger, who liked to launch sneak attacks on the sleeping Klopotek.