"Like some people,
this cat looks haggard due to his lifestyle. He may be
younger than 5 years of age," Mrs Bell said when I
estimated the thin stray cat as 5 years but probably
older. Most of his teeth had fallen out. This male
neutered cat would not permit me to open his mouth
without showing his claws.
My groomer Mr Aung wrapped the cat in a white towel and
put the cat on the consultation table. I did not think
of using the towel at that moment. I presumed Mr Aung
remembered the house-call he attended with me very well
as I had suggested a white towel to wrap a house cat. He
was attacked by "a suicide-bomber cat" in the apartment
and that probably was the reason he remembered this case
very well. The fortunate well cared for cat adopted by a
Caucasian expatriate in this case is recorded at:
Going inside a lion's den
The stray cat that
came to see me on a bright sunny Sunday afternoon was
not fortunate as he has lost so many teeth. Now he was
very weak and Mr Aung used a string to anchor to his
lower jaw to pry open his saliva-stained mouth.
I found ulcers
in the middle and both lower sides of his tongue, on his
hard palate and in his upper front gums.
cat had been living in my neighbourhood for a long
time," Mrs Bell said. "He has this salivation for the
past two months or so." Mrs Bell phoned me to make an
appointment. Should she put the cat to sleep as the cat
was in a bad shape.
He was not well and thus he was unable to groom himself.
The saliva stained and dried up on his front paws as he
tried to clean himself. He was dehydrated. Dull and
lethargic. He was neutered by somebody in the community
or most likely he was an abandoned cat.
"How do you know he is suffering from feline AIDS?" I
asked Mrs Bell as I examined this dehydrated dirty cat
with lots of black specks of flea dirt falling onto the
consultation table. "A friend told me," she said.
"Are you sure you
want to spend money treating a stray cat?" I asked Mrs
Bell after I estimated the costs to be more than $500.
"Most locals don't even want to spend ten dollars to
treat a sick stray cat. This is a part of the
Singaporean culture." But Mrs Bell is not a local. "Yes,
treat the cat." Mrs Bell said. "I know the English is
well known for loving their dogs and cats more than
The cat was warded for a few days for treatment.
1. Blood test showed high blood urea and eosinophilia
but no feline aids.
2. IV drip of glucose saline strengthen the cat. He
would not permit me to open his mouth on Day 2. He even
growled at me.
3. Pain-killers and antibiotics by IV and injection
reduced his mouth pain. He could eat on Day 2.
4. He looked quite handsome after Groomer Aung bathed
him. He would need a second bath.
5. On Day 2, I e-mailed Mrs Bell to phone me as her
phone seemed engaged for a long time. She must have
those instant e-mail Blackberries as she phoned me
within 10 minutes. She gave permission for dental
work for this cat.
"The cat may be toothless," I warned Mrs Bell. "Has he
got feline AIDS?" she did not mind the cat being
toothless and asked. "No," I said. "He is doing well and
will be able to go home after a few days. He should not
be out in the streets anymore." Mrs Bell said she would
keep the cat indoors with her two cats. That was great
news for this vagabond.
"There is no point sending the cat home without dental
work," I explained to my assistant Mr Saw who was
worried that the English lady may complain about the
additional cost for anaesthesia and dental work. "The
mouth ulcers will come back again. The cat will salivate
again and will cost the owner more money."
"This cat has a disease that causes eosinophils to
increase in large numbers," I showed Mrs Lai the blood
test result of 6% for eosinophils. She wrote down the
word in her book. Ms Lai has so much to do and works
from 8 am to 10 pm, 5 days a week to gain the maximum
exposure to veterinary medicine for the next two months.
"Unfortunately the cause of eosinophilia is unknown," I
told Ms Lai. "Extraction of all rotten teeth resolve the
"Go and get the blood results of other cats for
comparison," I asked Ms Lai. She brought me a blood test
report which showed zero eosinophils in the blood test.
Mr Saw said: "This old cat is dying from kidney
failure." We took out other reports of normal cats to
compare the blood results.