And the winner is...
I dial the number while sitting in the car, listening as the phone rings once, twice, three times on the other end. After a brief exchange I keep an eye on the door, waiting for a most important delivery. I pop the boot as they approach, he slides the box in and gives me a wave.
"She's doing fine, just don't forget the antibiotic and keep the cone on for a few days." And without further ado, and the boot now closed and package on board, we head home.
Her homecoming is warm and sympathetic. The oohs and aahs echo between us as we come to terms with the newly shaved and stitched tail (right at the end that connects) and of course, the cone of shame. We all realise immediately that the cat, who already had our sympathy, now could not do any of the thing that are involved in being a cat. No licking. Which, of course, is the point. Gone is the agility. Gone are the outdoors, for now. Gone is the ability to graze whenever you fancy. Gone is an easy snooze on the top bunk for two reasons - the climbing ability is off right now, and it's not easy to lay flat and sleep in a cone. We feel her pain.
Considerations have to be made for access to food, water and the loo. But as with all that's going on, this time will pass. What solidarity there is in our house, a new normal for all, even the cat.
One thing that is normal? I can't write with the cat on my lap. Tonight, though, I can't move her on. Tonight, she wins.